EMMA BUNTON Free Me (2004 UK issue 12-track CD featuring the second solo album from the ex-Spice Girl. Includes the singles Free Me Maybe Ill Be There and Crickets Sing For AnaMaria. With lyric booklet picture sleeve featuring some stunning snaps of Emma)
The title track from Free Me
is so evocative of James Bond it should come with a free Martini. On her latest album Emma Bunton
tries to reinvent herself as a modern Sandie Shaw
. Following the title track is a Sergio Mendes
style piece of Brazilian pop. To continue the club-tropicana feel there's even a cover of Brazilian Marcos Valle
's irresistible "Os Grilos" ("The Crickets"), here known as "Crickets Sing for AnaMaria".
Will her fans get this? Does she still have fans? Who is Emma Bunton? Like all the other Spice Girls she's searching for a musical identity after losing a collective wholeness. Note the change from Emma Bunton to Emma, another way to separate past from present. But having Brazilian musical plastic surgery doesn't cover up the fact that underneath the alterations is a woman undergoing the painful process of finding artistic individuality. She best achieves this on the ironically titled "No Sign of Life". This is by no means a bad album. "Breathing", after a few plays, sounds like a possible No. 1. "Who the Hell Are You?" could easily power a car advert. It doesn't say a lot but sounds fun, which is about right for this album. --Jake Barnes