Here is my review of Geri Halliwell’s new album – Passion. This is the original 12" Kraines edit. The bbc mix can be seen here.
For someone most people claim to hate, Geri Halliwell has a history to be proud of as the UK’s most successful female singer ever amassing 13 number 1s. Admittedly not the best but, her bold and brassy routine had something that made us like her. That is, until the disastrous sales of 2001’s ‘Scream if you want to go faster’. Four years later, here comes album number 3 – Passion.
The pop world is very different to that which Geri is used to. In 2001 we were at the height of Steps and S Club chart topping days. Now the charts are filled with mediocre MOR styles of Embrace, Coldplay and Athlete. Geri could quite easily have turned herself into a Gabrielle-esque character, but she’s stuck to her roots and Passion has no aspirations to be a serious, sophisticated album with ‘Superstar’ containing typical Geri lyrics of ‘Oooh baby, I love your hot action’
Preceded by singles ‘Ride It’ and ‘Desire’, even the most ardent Geri fan was surely expecting a clanger of an album. Passion is however surprisingly entertaining. The album is bookended with two musical numbers sounding like Geri is doing a public audition to be the latest celebrity in Chicago. Putting these aside, it’s typical Geri fare with camp dancefloor classics and ballads, sounding quite good, but a little awkwardly sung. Even Robbie’s old writing partner Guy Chambers has been brought in here, giving us disappointing ballad ‘Loving Me Back to Life’.
‘Love Never Loved Me’ is the standout fast track and expected 3rd single. If it were 2001, this would be number 1 without question. Now it’ll probably be relegated to only being heard on the campest of dancefloors. Surprisingly the best track on Passion is a ballad, the stunning ‘Let me Love You More’. Here we can really hear the improvements in Geri’s voice over the last 4 years.
Whether this album does well or not is probably more about the music climate of the UK at the moment, than its contents. In 2001 it would have been a ‘surefire hit’, now it’ll be lucky to go top 30.