There are things you think you’ll never get a chance to say again in your lifetime. “Baby Spice is back with new music” is certainly one of them. Or, well, was.
Mercifully, the status of another Emma Bunton solo record is no longer just a “Maybe.” (Eh heh, see what I did there?)
Twelve long years since Em-in-the-place (who likes it in your face) released her fabulously French pop-influenced Life In Mono, the Spice Girl with objectively the strongest, most consistent and timeless track record of solo music returned on Wednesday (February 27) with “Baby Please Don’t Stop,” the first taste of her upcoming record, My Happy Place.
To be honest, it still doesn’t feel real.
The song was written by Emma alongside Paul Barry and Patrick Mascall and, once again, finds Emma indulging in her sweet spot: swinging ’60s pop.
As a result, in many ways, it feels as though Emma’s never missed a beat over a decade later: the song could easily be squeezed into the track list of 2004’s Free Me, her best record – and arguably the best Spice solo album, period.
A chart smash? Perhaps not in 2019. But then again, who knows? That’s always been the beauty of Solo Emma: she’s never sounded thirsty for radio relevance. It all feels so effortless, breezy and right – this sound is just so her.
My Happy Place – out April 12 – is a ten song collection produced by Metrophonic which features several duets, including one with Robbie Williams (!) on a new version of “2 Become 1” (!!), as well as Will Young (!) on “I Only Want To Be With You.” There’s even a duet with her own fiancé, Jade Jones: “You’re All I Need to Get By.” The Spice Girls’ very own Sonny & Cher, ladies and gentlemen.
The album is also largely a covers affair, although there’s another new song on the way alongside “Baby Please Don’t Stop” called “Too Many Teardrops,” which promises to be “another slice of sensual sixties pop.”
“The reason I called the album My Happy Place is because my happy place is with my family, with my friends, listening to music and being in the studio. All those things came together on this album. While recording it my kids came to the studio, my friends came down, my mum listened to every song over and over again. Being in the studio I just feel so happy. As you get older you feel more confident because actually your priorities change, and my family have become my focus, but this album is like the icing on the cake. Being able to write, record and perform is definitely that extra sprinkle of magic,” Emma explained of the album.
Truthfully, after watching the “Baby Please Don’t Stop” music video filled with friends and family and a visibly fulfilled Emma front and center, that mission statement becomes abundantly (a-bunton-ly) clear: this is exactly where Emma’s meant to be.
And while we already know that the Spice Reunion Tour is officially a go (sans one) later this year, it’s genuinely a delight to see her back in action again in her own right.
Just one request: Baby (Spice), please don’t stop.
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“Baby Please Don’t Stop” was released on February 27. (iTunes)