Geri Halliwell

Capitol Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Fact: I'm no fan of the Spice Girls. I can stand one or two of their songs, but that's about it.

So why would I want to review Schizophonic, the solo debut from Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell? Was it a matter of wanting to see if she could overcome the obstacles of being in the Spice Girls and make a name for herself? Or was it wanting to hear a train wreck first-hand?

One listen to this disc, and I was in for a shock. Halliwell not only succeeds in stepping out on her own, but she has made a pretty damn good disc that deserves a better fate than the ho-hum response it seems to have gotten. (Then again, that opinion is changing; at the time this review was written, Halliwell had just scored her first chart-topping single in the U.K. America has yet to embrace the album like they did the Spice Girls, however.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While there still is a little bit of the dance-pop that Halliwell brought to the forefront with her former bandmates, she chooses instead to focus on light pop that borders on adult-contemporary ballads. It's a bold move for her to throw away her past, but it's a move that works well for her.

Tracks like "Lift Me Up" and "Walkaway" make it clearly known to the listener that Halliwell is serious about this career move, and that she has the talent and the pipes to deliver the goods. While I'll admit I didn't have the highest hopes for Schizophonic going into the album, Halliwell quickly made a believer out of me that she made the right career move.

There still are one or two missteps on Schizophonic - but these could be expected on the debut of any artist. The lead-off track, "Look At Me," doesn't quite seem like Halliwell knows which way she wants to take her new career. And, in a sense, that's understandable - but the sudden shift in style midway through the track and the subsequent return to the first one is a bit confusing.

Likewise, "You're In A Bubble" is a bit of an anti-climatic way to end the album. After so many songs that were musically solid, ending with this slight nod to her past days seems like an odd way to call it a day. And, while the song is rather intriguing in a Madonna-like way, "Mi Chico Latino" is an odd selection for a single, especially when other tracks like "Let Me Love You" and "Lift Me Up" are much stronger.

Still, Schizophonic is a surprisingly good effort from Halliwell, and serves as proof that the future for this former Spice looks to be very sweet, indeed.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.