Northern Star
by Melanie C, pop (1999)
EMI/Virgin, ASIN B00002CF0W

When I first heard Melanie C's single Goin' Down, an exuberant piece of ersatz defiance, I'm delighted. The idea of Sporty Spice turning Rock Bitch Spice is a rather appealingly fun notion. The whole of Northern Star, however, is a rather disappointingly tame mix of dancey pop and pseudo-alternative tunes. Not bad, but Goin' Down set up expectations, all wrong ones.

There's no doubt Melanie C can sing, her rich soulful voice surprisingly right at home in screaming or crooning. I love the title track, a lush, epic yet gentle song depicting the mercenary nature of people in the 'Biz. I also love Never Be The Same again, with a nice rap bridge from Lisa "Lefteye" Lopes of TLC (wonder if she's rapping to Mel C or to a boy, hmmm), and Ga Ga is cute. And she even returns to Spice territory with Stop-soundalike Suddenly Monday, and goes all lovelorn in Feel The Sun.

Everything else is sort of throwaway, I'm afraid. They're nice to hear, but not very memorable either. Come on, go on nasty on us, Melanie C! Goin' Down is such a pleasure (From this little hitch/I have become a superbitch!), it's a waste that you follow it up with lovey-dovey goo-goo puppy love songs.

Rating: 68

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