Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Mel C - Rock Me (New European Single)



I didn't see this one coming: I mean I knew it was coming, I just didn't know I was going to like this song as much. This has just been serviced to German radio, and if cougar with a 'K' Kim Wilde can have success with much better material there, then I don't see why an overrated ex-Spice Girl shouldn't be able to trouble the iTunes top 100 there too. Featuring one of her best ever choruses, perhaps it is the post-chorus that has the best hook here of all. The verses are a tad crap, but that never stopped Geri, The Beatles, ABBA or Lolly now did it? Supposedly, this is a European-only single and the UK (who are actually European, funnily enough) are being dished dance dregs instead. I don't think Mel is quite at the level where she can divide her markets and releases - she should skim the cream from 'both' projects and give everyone the best. So whatever she is up to, good luck, but the Spice Girls will always be the sum of their parts (and it was only Geri who ever really came closest to capturing that Spice spirit and spectacle in any of her solo stuff). I shouldn't really discredit MC completlely as Never Be The Same Again was clever enough to enlist Left-Eye, I Turn To You was one of those daft Ibiza anthems of its day that fizzed its trancey sounds all over the radio, and Northern Star was certainly lovely. However, the big C herself has always frustrated me ever since with lacklustre follow-ups (after the success of Northern Star I could not fathom the slump in quality found on her dreary sophomore set). Anyway, that's my ten cents and then some.

11 comments:

feedlimmy said...

I find it weird that Mel's been dividing her market. Totally agree that she should just concentrate on delivering one kick arse album. But y'know, she's been dividing and conquering the northern hemisphere ever since the "Beautiful Intentions" era.

I mean, I'm all the way down here in Australia so I don't get how different European countries can react so distinctly differently that one has to literally draw up borders with music releases... but it's kinda frustrating for fans.

QH said...

You know how I feel about The Girls. I've been down since '98. They changed my life, and I'm of the mind that they have crafted, group and solo for the most part, some of the most formidable & accomplished pop of the last two decades.

Melanie's second record "Reason," to me, was gorgeous. I am an AC guy, so maybe that's why, I could see why it would lull others. But for me, I thought it was a nice, reflective work of the calm she had achieved in her life. I love NS, but I could not have that manic mood on every record, it is what makes NS so unique. I am eagerly anticipating my copy of "The Sea." Oh. I adore Geri, but Emma's stuff has always been nice. Melanie B was the only one who usually disappointed, VB's solo album actually was sturdier than most think.

QH said...

Oh, with Melanie's third & fourth albums doing better outside her nation, I think it makes sense. Why try to succeed in market that clearly makes it known that they don't want you?-Quentin

Diva Incarnate said...

I seen Rock Me on music channels a few times this summer in Germany, but #38 was not a great result. I wasn't keen on The Sea on first listen, but still have it on my laptop so will give it another go. She is much less off-putting these days. If she had followed up Northern Star with songs as worthy as Never Be The Same Again (the Left-Eye cameo was seen as something of a coop) and the title track, then she could have easily have enjoyed more success.

QH said...

My copy arrived, barring to glaring missteps, "The Sea" is great. The title track is grand & ornate, similar to Katie Melua's "The Flood" from last year, I'm a big fan of Melua.

"Think About It" really kicks within the context of the album. And her working with Chuck Harmony, a principal songwriter/producer for a favorite R&B singer of mine Chrisette Michele, on "Burn" is nice too. I'd rank it three and a half out of five. It'll make my records of 2011 fo' sho'.-Quentin

Diva Incarnate said...

Okay I really need to give The Sea another spin. I've seen her live, she was prmoting Beautiful Intentions, I had no knowledge of her stuff at this point but my then best friend made me go: he was drunk and started chanting "Geri, Geri" at one point to be 'hilarious', got pushed to the ground, and then when we left at the end a group or uber Mel C fans were chanting "Ger's crap, Geri's crap" at a volume that was completely mortifying and yet oddly amusing as I had drank enough alcohol to not really care. She was a good performer and the crowd were basically over-zealous Spice Girls fans. Mel C never seems to quite get that her fans are basically Spice Girls fans who are being her fan to keep it all alive - it would be great if she gave us something like Northern Star's Never Be The Same and I Turn To You again. I'll try to listen to The Sea with an open mind, but it will be difficult.

QH said...

Well. For me, I think be an American fan gives me perspective. It was natural, as a group fan to follow them into their respective solo careers. I used to stay in touch with their comings & goings via their websites and the DenDen Forums, which are tired these days.

I think Melanie has two bases now, the quiet, more sensible non-Spice fans, and the crazy Spice fans. For me, I jsut enjoy Melanie in both contexts as "Sporty Spice" and "Melanie C" and that's where I leave it.

Again, she just makes really nice pop music, it has pathos, it has range, it is pretty, and she has a decent voice. "Northern Star," "Reason," and "This Time" are my favorites, "The Sea" may make the list, BI was just dreck. Geri fans, and I love her, shame her music sometimes. They can be really over the top, for no reason. I like Geri because she really has a fun side & has a wit that is next-door-girl, but stream of consciouness, her second album will always be my favorite, "Calling" is just epic. I'd say revisit "Reason" to when you fall in love. ;) -Quentin

Diva Incarnate said...

Well Geri appeals to me the most, whether her appeal is intentional or not I find her lack of self-editing enormously rewarding. Heaven & Hell should have been a smash, but it's all over the place. A hot mess if ever there was one. Don't Call Me Baby was a neat homage to what made Stop so dreamy and wistfully anthemic, but it's atypically low-key and toned down (and all the better for it).

Then she got even crazier, locking Richard X in a car to beg for the song Some Girls to be hers (and the resulting Me Plus One by Annie being about this), and then releasing Desire as her own attempt, which then flopped. Love Never Loved Me was Gina G levels of epic camp, and sounded like Dana International. Ride It really got her sound in gear, and her cover of the Crystal Waters hit 100% Pure Love was shelved when she took the album in a different direction from dance. Major mistakes.

Let's hope she has learned her lessons. She has a new nose. She looks great. And she promises us dance-pop.

QH said...

See, I don't prefer her in just "dance mode" for her pop. Her sound is broader than just that, and songs like "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" (very amzing), "Let Me Love You," "Surrender Your Groove" operate from that great, expansive realm pop occupies. "Ride It" was obvious pink pound, not in a bad way, but more obvious than "Bag It Up" (if that is possible), "Desire" was a bit more top shelf for me. A real grower.-Quentin

Diva Incarnate said...

I don't disagree about Geri's broader range - she misunderstood her appeal with Desire. Sorry, for me it's a really contrived imitation that came from Richard X telling her where to go. Passion has some nice moments, but she was trying to be Dido or something. She'd done her Shirley Bassey pastiche already on Look At Me, so it was dissappointing to hear this below par cabaret on it. Anyway, she has the most songs I Like from any solo spice. I do like Mel B, her LA State of Mind was ... interesting. The song Bad Bad Girl is a huge ironic fave.

QH said...

You know, coming off of "Scream..." I think anything would pale. That said, I actually liked "Passion" as a song. She'd just had some throat surgery and though the huskiness was gone, I did like the smoothness of her voice. The overall ballads, lyrically, are nice, though their compositions again weren't as awing as the ballads "Scream." But I've always liked Geri as a writer, she balances camp and introspection well.

Melanie B, I love her but she disappoints me. I always felt she'd have an Estelle vibe, who I am a big fan of, but her not taking a stronger hand in writing on "Hot" kinda doomed her to be the weakest of the five solo wise. That said "Feels So Good" was soul-pop brilliance, and she had some other moments I like. I like the honesty & thrifty nature of her second LP. It wasn't meant to sell, but it came from her heart, so I loved it.

Emma is perfection. VB's debut is kinda underrated, I did a great piece on it back in '08, it turns 10 tomorrow.-Quentin