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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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A Girl Like Me
Image © 2001 Virgin Records Ltd

Emma Bunton
Emma Bunton
Image © 2001 Virgin Records Ltd

(02 June 2001) While part of the female pop sensation, the Spice Girls, female vocalist Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) is hitting high and going for solo stardom with her debut album A Girl Like Me (Virgin Records Ltd (UK) CDV2935, 2001). Emma has had many big influences on her music, and they are rather diverse. There is a mixture of Motown like Stevie Wonder and contemporary soul divas like Whitney Houston. There is also some British Rock in there like Travis and Texas. These musical influences are definitely reflected in the sounds on Emma's debut solo album.

The title track "What Took You So Long" has this hint of "Irish" in it. The track sounds as though it is from the worldwide sensation the Corrs. This lively, upbeat track has a catchy tune and with Emma's amazing voice, you want to get up and sing and dance along, yet you can just sit back and enjoy the song.

"Take My Breath Away" has a soft beat with the sounds of Tin Tin Out in the background. "What I Am," which was a Tin Tin Out cover of the original Edie Brickel tune, shot to number two in the charts with Emma's guest vocals on it. Sounding like another pop song, with a twist, "A Girl Like You," has an upbeat tempo that you want to bop your head to as well as sing along to.

Emma has worked with artists on this album like fellow Spice Girl Melanie C, and in this track, her influence in the voice and tune is prevalent.

While sounding like another pop artist, she can also sound like a young soul diva, with the influence and help from superstar Mariah Carey on "Spell It Out." An influence of collaborating artists Bryan Adams and Melanie C is also evident on "A World Without You." This Texas-sounding, country rock combination, "High On Love," really sets out for just what Emma can do.

"Sunshine on a Rainy Day" sounds as though it is a collaboration of the Corrs and Texas through vocals and sounds. This track makes you want to sit back and relax as well as sing along since the song is a catchy one. "Been There, Done That" is another track that really stretches out what Emma is capable of. Through an R & B beat, the words come out of smooth vocals surprising some listeners in what Emma can do.

"Better Be Careful" is a very catchy tune, with Emma sounding like a vocalist from a couple of decades ago. There are various voices in the track, all of which are Emma's at a different level, which makes the track very different from what she has done and accomplished already. "We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight" has a Spanish edge to it, even with the vocals sounding having this flavour.

Growing out of her pig tails from the days of the Spice Girls, into a grown woman, she uses this maturity and puts it into music such as "A Friend of Mine." This pop tune really shows Emma's development and gives insight into what we should expect from her future albums. ExploreEmma Bunton further at her official website. There you'll find soundbites, videos, further informationand an extensive photo gallery. Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. A very nice listen! -- Deborah J Elliot

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