Music Review: Records
Sunday 02 November 1997
Spice Girls: Spice World (Virgin, CD/tape). Hard to believe, but it's been only a year since the mind-bogglingly famous five released their first album, and since then their success has been so dazzling that it's made some onlookers feel as if they've spent a week in the custody of the Thought Police. You gaze at those mountainous global sales figures and think, well, maybe the Girls' music is the stuff of pop genius after all. This album has come along just in time to put us right. There's no genius in evidence here, apart from that of Virgin's marketing department. But Spice World is 38 minutes of very efficient, straightforward pop. It's soft, it's old-fashioned, and it's a lot more fun and more well-meaning than most of the tripe which pre-teens are fed. "Spice Up Your Life", the faux-South American fiesta single, heralds the Girls' mission to have a bash at as many different genres as possible. There's a passable Motown pastiche, "Stop"; there's some funk and some disco, and there's a disastrous 1930s big-band number at the end. That aside, this is a catchy, skilfully arranged album. You can't knock it - unless, of course, you have some irrational prejudice against the vacuous and derivative. Nicholas Barber
Benjamin Britten: A Ceremony of Carols/Rejoice in the Lamb/Abraham and Isaac, etc. Westminster Abbey Choir/Martin Neary (Sony, CD). The unearthly sound of Michael Chance and Ian Bostridge blending flawlessly into the voice of God for Abraham and Isaac is the big attrac- tion of this disc; and although you can't really believe that Bostridge is tough enough to sacrifice his son, he sings with such exquisite beauty, sense of line and feel for diction that the lack of true grit is a minor issue. But it's only modified rapture for the rest of the release: it's good to have Britten's wedding anthem Amo Ergo Sum and antiphon Praise Be the God of Love on disc, and the boys of the Abbey choir make a clean sound in the Ceremony of Carols, but the recording acoustic for Rejoice in the Lamb is too big and the tempi are too slow. And there's not much motivation in the singing. The Sixteen and the Corydon Singers (both on Hyperion) do it better.
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Penis size: is there a correlation with sexual satisfaction? A scientific look
Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
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