Today’s POP RESCUE is the eponymous 2001 solo album Victoria Beckham from ‘Posh Spice’ former Spice Girls member Victoria Beckham, but will this album Spice up your life, or send you Out of Your Mind? Let’s find out…
I’m not particularly a fan of Team/Brand Beckham, so reviewing this album is going to be a challenge.
Victoria manages a writer’s credit (lead, naturally) on 9 of the 12 tracks on this album, although it’s unclear as to what her writing prowess is like.
Opening track and lead single, Not Such An Innocent Girl was Victoria’s post-Spice statement to shake off her Spice Girl image. Even the video (below) clearly is meant to suggest that there’s more to this Spice Girl than you might think. It’s clear here that there’s a fair amount of Billie Piper style too.
The second track is also the second (and final) single from this album. A Mind Of It’s Own follows a similar sound, opening with a part-spoken word verse – reminding me of something you’d find on a Betty Boo album. Victoria has a lead writing credit on this track and she’s joined by writing team Steve Kipner and Andrew Frampton, who also wrote the previous track. This track is light and summery thanks to some tinkling acoustic guitar.
The tempo slows for That Kind Of Girl, with a smooth relaxed bassline and soft vocals. This song just wanders along quite happily, but definitely feels like a Spice Girls album track.
Next up is Like That, and the tempo picks up again, with some cello, and some kind of robo-harpsichord synth. This time, Victoria’s vocals sound stronger and richer. This track is an improvement on the previous two. The track also plays on the, at this point, emerging Garage music scene, and references her collaboration with The Truesteppers Out Of My Mind (which is sadly absent from this album), and also their collaboration with Dane Bowers.
That Dane Bowers connection is cemented in the fifth track, Girlfriend, where he gets a writing credit. Again, this track is influenced by the emerging Garage scene that would go on to dominate the charts. Musically and lyrically though, and perhaps because the sound is now a bit dated, this song sounds pretty weak.
Things get better with the next track, Midnight Fantasy. This is far more pop, and much more in line with the opening track, and is fairly catchy.
This is followed by the gentle I.O.U. Again, Victoria uses this track to show off her vocal skills, and this time they are pitched against a range of strings.
Eighth track No Trix, No Games is a fairly catchy strings, bassline, garage-beat track. Again, I’m hearing Billie Piper echoing throughout.
I Wish is definitely in the garage sound again, but has a nice minimal feel to it – with a simple repeated intro, meets record scratching and bassline. Victoria’s vocals here are light, and fit well.
Tenth track Watcha Talkin’ Bout would definitely feel at home on a Craig David album, perhaps a duet. It’s gentle, mellow, and quite catchy again, and has some nice vocal effects.
Penultimate track Unconditional Love, is again, along the garage meets Billie style. It’s simple, and not particularly inspiring though, which is surprising considering Rhett Lawrence (Eternal and BeBe Winans, Melanie C, Whitney Houston etc) has a writing credit here.
The final track Every Part Of Me, opens with the voice and laughter of son Brooklyn Beckham. The track is a bit of a Pop Idol spectacular – with lots of growly ‘oh-eeh-oh-eeh-oh’, long-winded high notes, and obligatory key change. Even Michelle McManus would turn this track down.
Over all, this album is actually not as bad as I was expecting. It has dated a bit due to its dependence on the then wave of garage music, but at best, there’s a few catchy tracks here. If the second single had been swapped with Like That, maybe her solo career could have been sustained for longer.
The album is believed to have cost around £5 million to produce, and sold a modest 50,000 copies. Oops.
- POP RESCUE 2014 REVIEW RATING: 3 / 5
- 2001 UK ALBUM CHART POSITION: #10
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.00, from a Marie Curie charity store.