The Spice Girls: A Track by Track Review

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The Spice Girls: The Four “Lost” Songs Review

There’s nothing quite like nostalgia. And there’s no nostalgia so sweet for a girl who grew up in the ‘90s than the sounds of the Spice Girls. I saw Spiceworld in theaters, people, my love was strong. The last time the quintet released new music was on 2007’s Greatest Hits album, but this week, four new tracks leaked online. They are all totally ’90s pop and totally Spice. They’re glorious. So let’s go through them one by one.

“A Day in Your Life”

This song is almost disgustingly uplifting. Lines like, “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching you,” and “Treasure every day in your life,” are beyond cheesy, but that empowerment thing is very on-brand for the Spice Girls. The most surprising thing about the song, though, is how strange it is to hear vocals that haven’t had all the character auto-tuned out of them. You can hear the girls straining every once in a while and it’s actually refreshing. Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm) still has the most distinctive sound and she occasionally channels Alanis Morissette here.

“Pain Proof”

Sporty is in full Alanis mode on this track. It’s got a very late-’90s/early ’00s rock sound in that he heavy guitar riffs sound like when Aerosmith experienced a resurgence after “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” came out. The lyrics are right in the band’s girl power sweet spot as they defy manipulative men to try and hurt their feelings. Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) seems to sing the song’s second verse which would mean it was recorded sometime before her 1998 departure from the group (which I am still not over).

“If It’s Lovin’ on Your Mind”

This is by far the best track of the leaked songs. The Spice Girls were nothing if not sexually liberated and this track is all about making it very clear that just because they want to hook up doesn’t mean they want relationships too. Think of it as having the confidence of “Who Do You Think You Are” with the downbeat romance of “2 Become 1.” The song sounds like early Britney Spears and it’s easy to imagine it competing with Spears 1998 hit, “…Baby One More Time” for airplay. It’s a shame they never released it.

“Right Back at Ya” [Pop Version]

This track isn’t exactly new. The girls used to perform this back in the day right after Ginger left the group to pursue her short-lived solo career. While this is technically the “pop” version, the track definitely has that very hip-pop sound that was so popular when the band was at its peak. There’s even one of Scary Spice’s (Melanie Brown) rap breaks. Now that I think of it, I wonder if we should all be thanking (blaming?) the Spice Girls for the fact that no female pop star can release a single without a verse from a guest rapper now. Even though the song is clearly publicity damage control, its message still works. This is the girls declaring that despite all the in-fighting, they’re still here and they’re here to stay. Oh Girls, if only that had been true.

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By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over every detail of America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture and celebrity obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to. You can find her risking her life by reading comic books while walking down the crowded streets of New York City, having inappropriate emotional reactions at her iPad screen while riding the subway or occasionally letting her love of a band convince her to stand for hours on end in one of the city’s many purgatorial concert spaces. You can follow her on Twitter to read her insightful social commentary or more likely complain about how cold it is at @MarisaCarpico.
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By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to.