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102
4.5 out of 5 stars
Northern Star
Format: Audio CDChange
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2002
I had been thinking of buying this album for the last 2 years or so, but whenever I got round to it, I always saw something I thought was better and bought that instead. Besides, from listening to all the other Spice Girls' solo singles (which, apart from maybe some of Geri Halliwells, were all complete rubbish) it wasn't that high on my list of CD's to buy. So I saw it in the shops a coupla days ago on sale for £3, and thought, why not.
Now I wish I'd bought it earlier. It is just so good. Unlike the other Spice Girls who decided to play it safe with what all the other pop acts were doing, Melanie C decided to brave it with something very different, alternative even. It's hard to define her album, sort of alternative/rock/r'n'b/dance/pop. I find that Northern Star has a very similar quality to Madonna's 1998 album Ray of Light. Perhaps it's because William Orbit featured on both, but both albums have a unique sound that is somewhat dark and hypnotic. There is not one bland song on this album, and we all know bland music is the worst kind of music. Outstanding tracks include the emotion filled "Northern Star", the cool "Never be the Same Again", the beautiful "If that were me", the pumped up club anthem "I turn to you", the haunting "Feel the Sun" and the hardcore, full out rock'n'roll "Goin' Down" (which I didn't really like, but now am hooked!)
So, look past the "Spice Girl" and listen to the album without any thought of Sporty Spice. Fantastic listening guranteed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2000
I have always loved Mel C - but not the Spice Girls in general. I was really "grabbed" by Goin' Down - and although not blown away it made me look at her totally differently, and began to reveal her talent. Northern Star proved she can do excellent stuff without the Spice Girls (could she with them? I suppose Stop/Goodbye/Too Much??) But Never Be The Same Again is PURE GENIUS - pop & R&B & Left Eye!! What more could we ask for.
She is a rock chic with cool connections. The album (as said above) proves her sheer breadth of talent BUT!! I disagree with our Greek chum - Be the One is THE BEST TRACK EVER - picture yourself sad/alone/in Liverpool - this is just excellent. The melody, her voice - and when live - simply sublime!
Mel has now got to keep this up - she can't let the press get her down - she seems to be at the moment, ditch the scrawny footie wife and the blonde bombsite (possibly Mel B could get serious with R&B if she streches herself) BUT give up the girl act stuff - girl/boy bands DO NOT GROW UP - THEY SPLIT UP! FEEL THE HISTORY. MEL C CAN B A STAR!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2002
Northern Star contains so many brilliant singles that much of its content will be familiar to people already. But in my view, the album is a must-have not for the singles, but for the deliciously haunting "Why". Worth every penny for that song alone.
And if you find "Why" a bid maudlin, then Suddenly Monday directly after it will have you smiling again. Amazing that this really strong song was never released as a single - just shows the quality of the rest of the tracks.
Good luck Mel with your next album. I shall be first in the queue for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2000
YES if you have ever listened to this album you'd know this: IT IS DA BOMB!!! Every one of her tracks have something inside them, from "Northern Star" and "Feel the Sun", which are obviously about Melanie C's life, to "If that were Me" which is about homeless people. One of my favorites is "Suddenly Monday", which talks about someone with a mad crush on someone else (get this line: 'You make me high, I wish that you knew, I wish I could tell you" so typical for a crush eh). To sum all that up: BUY THIS ALBUM! IT'S AWESOME!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2002
Mel C's solo debut proves what observant Spice Girl fans knew all along: Sporty was the real voice of the band. She takes the most challenging vocal parts on all the songs I can remember, and rightfully so. We knew she had the chords to make it on her own, but Northern Star has shown that she also has the songwriting ability. The album produced two huge (number 1, I believe) hits: "I Turn To You" and "Never Be The Same Again" and boasts several thoughtful and stylistically eclectic songs. With its backing piano music, "Suddenly Monday" has a Broadway show tune quality to it; "Ga Ga" and "Goin' Down" feature heavy guitar chords and have a bit of a louder sound; "Go!" sounds like Garbage-lite. "Northern Star" is more the woman-with-an-acoustic-guitar-introspective song, much like Sheryl Crow but with more vocal power, and "If That Were Me" and "Be the One" follow the same pattern but are distinctively different. "Why" has the same kind of sound as Dido's "No Angel" LP; my personal favorites, "Feel the Sun" and "Closer" are more mellow than most of the tracks and perhaps the least Spice-ish of all Melanie's new songs. The extended version of Northern Star also includes great remixes of "I Turn To You" and "Never Be The Same Again," which surpass the originals.
Unlike the rest of the Spice Girls, who obviously rely heavily on voice training and great production to make their solo albums sound good, Melanie has a strong, distinct voice that's fully heard, finally free of heavy backing vocals-and it sounds great. Yet despite being (in many people's opinions) the most talented of the 5, Melanie was never the star of the group and doesn't get nearly as much publicity as media favorites Victoria and Geri. Northern Star shows her versatility as a singer and will hopefully help her earn some new fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2001
I very rarely like an album the first time I here it and this totally surprised me. She has a great voice and a very good writing talent. I hope she releases a second album just as good as this because lets face it The Spice Girls aren't giving us much to get excited about. 1. Go! (8/10) This was used for a film soundtrack a really good rock/pop song 2. Nothern Star (9.5/10) Great ballad with outstanding vocals but gets boring after a while. 3. Goin' Down (8/10) I hated this song when I first heard it but now I love it. It has attitude. 4. I Turn to You (9/10) She seems like she can do any type of music well - pop, rock, club, and RnB! 5. If That Were Me (10/10) Possibly my favourite track on the album. Good lyrics and Vocals should have made it a number 1 (not 18!!) 6. Never Be the Same Again (10/10) Another suberb track with a great rap intervention and again lovely vocals. 7. Why (4/10) Why indeed? one of the worst songs on the album it barley has a chorus and is annoyingly spooky. 8. Suddenly Monday (10/10) Another wicked track that is uplifting and nicley paced 9. Ga Ga (10/10) Really good song it should have been a single with suddenly Monday. 10. Be the One (6/10) Another Bland Track a slight improvement on why but it has no flow 11. Closer (?/10) This track was scratched on my album so I couldn't tell maybe mine could be a remix cause it sounded quite good 12. Feel the Sun (8/10) Nice Filler Track although it was the closing one on the original album so it would have been a 6 or 7 back then 13. Never Be the Same Again [Single Mix] (10/10) Can't tell the difference good if you are relaxing in your room and your listening to this album - you don't have a remote so you can listen to this GREAT song again. 14. I Turn to You [Hex Hector Radio Mix] (10/10) This is what turned a good song into a great song - perfect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2000
A year after it's initial release among derision by every music critic- this album is still doing the business. Call it a slow-burner- each single has been bigger than the last. But apart from the storming "I Turn To You" the meloncholy- "Northern Star" the enormous No:1 "Never Be The Same Again" and the risky "Goin' Down" what's the rest of it like?
Well, "Feel The Sun" like many of the tracks sounds like early Madonna. This is not a bad thing- clearly Mel has imitated musical styles and stars that she admires. "Ga Ga" is the sort of rock song that Mel loves singing and I'd imagine that it is a 'live' favourite. And it goes on......
There is one truly duff track on the album: "If that Were Me " about the homeless. I am sure that the right intentions and sentiments were there when Mel wrote it but the song is not very strong lyrically and the nursery rhyme feel of rhyming 'home' with 'phone' will come across as patronising in its meaning.
Apart from the one duff track though- this album is a clear winner. Maybe the success of "I Turn To You" will mean that this album will finally go to No:1. Let's hope so.
Northern Star- leave the Spices- your future is secure if this is album is anything to go by.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2001
The girl starts out as the shy spice girl, that sings quiet chorus's. The second spice girls album she purks up a bit and then comes her solo album!! This album is fantastic. The album doesn't follow down one road, the style changes from pop, R'n'B, Rock and indie. Melanie has the vocal range to change from one to the next and the writing talent to express her true feelings in words and song. I got to say if her next album is like this, then you better watch out cause its gonna be huge. Considering she has toured the globe with northern star but as well having top ten chart success and constantly having new reviews. If you haven't heard this album, I advice you too, it is no POP album, it is a all-round music album with a touch of spice. Wicked!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2000
A star is born; a new brilliant career is launched.
When it comes to getting the newly released albums from our dear Britons, Belgium is luckily one of the first European countries to put them in sale. Wandering around in Europe's capital city I noticed a picture of a beautiful woman on an album disposed on the strategic 'new releases' racks. Because that was the way I discovered Natalie Imbruglia's Left Of The Middle, I thought I'd give Sporty Spice's solo project a go as well. And GO was the word, as I noticed in the first track....
To me, every single song on the album is flawless. Of course I have my own favourites, but then again, these seem to change every month. For the time being, I am completely captured by the 'warm summer sunset' beauty of 'Closer' and the mysterious and vocally superb 'Why?'. I've heard the four actual singles too much, but of course this doesn't mean these songs don't deserve a spot on the album. I'd rather blame the intense airplay.
'Northern Star' was such a beautiful surprise I've been playing it over and over again since I bought it several months ago. I've given it to all my friends and relatives whenever there was an occasion for presents. My mother is deeply moved every time she hears 'Feel the Sun' or 'Northern Star' and my brothers rock the house with 'Go', 'Ga Ga' or 'Goin' Down'. Of course, Mel's surrounded by the 'crème de la crème' when it comes to producers and writers: Madonna's William Orbit and Marius De Vries, Red Hot Chili Producer Rick Rubin, Five-writers Stannard & Gallagher, TLC's Lisa 'Left-Eye' Lopes & company, musical genius Phil Thornally (who worked with Mademoiselle Imbruglia and Bryan Adams),etc... Critics say they are the only ones who made this album worth listening. I would only like to answer Mel's the one singing, in the end, and that the key in this business is not to get surrounded with good people but with the RIGHT people and Mel has made that choice. The list of people above only contributes to her great talent as an artist.
If you are a hard-core Mel C fan like I became (of her music, that is, because I'm not that fond of her new image) check out her B-tracks as well: 'Follow Me', written by Bryan Adams, 'Angel On My Shoulder', 'I Wonder What It Would Be Like' and 'I Want You Back' among others.
Give Mel a chance and you'll be surprised; this is without a doubt one of the best albums of the decade! Mel, congratulations on this album and keep on making good music and searching for your own true sound....
PS: Mel C fans can always send me mail concerning news about Mel's latest releases. I'm seeing forward to correspond with them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 1999
After having the priviledge to witness a couple of Mel C's pre album gigs, I was some what suprised at the tempo of this album. Where were all those block-rocking tracks I'd previously heard the newly crowned 'indie spice' belt out? There was the rumour that the album was changed from it's original format, in favour of a more 'pop' feel, following performances at V-99. I hope this isn't true. Just because some narrow-minded 'Manics' fans didn't give it the thumbs up, doesn't mean the rest of us have to miss out. Having said that, the album certainly provides a great collabaration of songs. The rock comes in the form of the radio played GA GA, and the top 5 hit GOIN' DOWN. SUDDENLY MONDAY, is a great song with a catcy sixties feel, its certainly made to 'fit' the 'sporty one'(excuse the pun). There's even a bit of R&B, (with a little help from Lisa-left eye TLC) in NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. The best of the rest comes in the form of ballads and as the album title appears to suggest, Mels vocals do shine through on songs such as NORTHERN STAR, CLOSER and BE THE ONE. There is one song that deserves a special mention, IF THAT WERE ME, is a real thought provoking number, capable of bringing a tear to the eye. It's about being homeless, and it certainly makes you stop and think. NORTHERN STAR is a fantastic debut album that displays Melanie C's true potential. It proves that melanies talents not only lay with her vocal chords, and backflips but that she's also well capable of penning out a TUNE! Maybe it's not destined for everyones collection, but make sure you lend it your ears, it deserves that at lest! A Downing
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