BuzzJack
Entertainment Discussion

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register | Help )

Latest Artist News
 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Melanie C - Northern Star, 1st Album • Discussion Thread | Reviews, ratings, opinions
Track this topic - Email this topic - Print this topic - Download this topic - Subscribe to this forum
Spiceboy
post May 5 2020, 09:42 PM
Post #1
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Artist Mod
Posts: 3,083
Member No.: 39,568
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 




'Northern Star'
18th October 1999

1. Go
2. Northern Star
3. Goin' Down
4. I Turn to You
5. If That Were Me
6. Never Be the Same Again (feat. Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes)
7. Why
8. Suddenly Monday
9. Gaga
10. Be the One
11. Closer
12. Feel the Sun

2000 re-issue bonus tracks
13. Never Be the Same again (Single Mix)
14. I turn to you (Hex Hector Radio Mix)


---------------

It's a little later than we intended to post it (should have been last Friday) so apologies but here is the second solo Spice album to review, rate and opinionate!

Released on 18th October 1999 in the UK it debuted at #10. The release of Never Be the Same Again saw the album enter the top 10 again and peak at #5 for 2 weeks in March of 2000, but it was the release of I Turn to You which pushed Northern Star up to its peak position of #4 on 2nd September 2000 (nearly a year after release!).

Northern Star also went top 10 on the Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Irish, Norwegian, and Swedish (where it hit #1) charts across the world, while achieving top 40 positions on Australian, Austrian, Belgian, New Zealand and Swiss charts. It has sold between 3-4 million copies worldwide with over 890,000 of those in the United Kingdom alone.

What are your thoughts and opinions on this album? Which tracks do you like, love, hate? What's your favourite? Were the singles the correct choices? Rate the tracks in order of favourite to least favourite.


---------------











Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spiceboy
post May 5 2020, 09:48 PM
Post #2
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Artist Mod
Posts: 3,083
Member No.: 39,568
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


I'll fill my review in later as I'm too tired from figuring out how to post all that... pretty chuffed with myself right now heart.gif w00t.gif dance.gif cheer.gif yahoo.gif wub.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Feel_The_Fever
post May 5 2020, 11:23 PM
Post #3
BuzzJack Idol
********
Group: Members
Posts: 106,094
Member No.: 845
Joined: 29-June 06
   No Gallery Pics
 


This is a really good album, I still prefer reason, these 2 albums and spiceworld are my 3 fave spice related albums.Going down I wasnt sure of at first, but it grew on me, I always loved when you're gone with Bryan Adam's, but never be the same again is what really got me interested in her as a solo artist and was really impressed when I bought the album. Never sure if goin down was the right lead single or not but I dont think they could have released it any other time either. It served its purpose to get mel c known as not just a spice girl but doesn't represent the rest of the album.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mr.X
post May 6 2020, 07:53 AM
Post #4
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 1,292
Member No.: 39,587
Joined: 7-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


This is a really great album indeed. Second best solo record, imo. It's great, experiments with loads of amazing sounds and has some quality tracks that were surprising back then and are even surprising now.

I think Mel had the right producers, at the right time in her career. Feel The Sun and the album version of I Turn To You are instant classics in her discography. She navigates rock, r'n'b and trip-hop quite nicely.

Wish she would have continued to experiment with her sound, and worked with interesting producers like in this record, as she showed that she had a lot to offer with it, hence the success. Think she would have grown into a much better artist if she had continued in that streak rather than go the 'pop' way or safe way or whatever they decided to do with Reason and the albums after. The drop in quality of music is STEEP after Northern Star, really. She never really recovered from it, both in quality of music, and in success (bar First Day of My Life in terms of success but we know why that happened the way it did lol).

Here's hoping her next album proves as interesting as this one, as she seems to hint at.

Here's how I would currently rate it:

1. Feel The Sun
2. I Turn To You (album)
3. Norther Star
4. Suddenly Monday
5. Never Be The Same Again
6. Closer
7. Go!
8. WHy
9. Be The One
10. Ga Ga
11. Goin Down
13. I Turn To You (single mix)
14. If That Were me

Honestly I think some of the singles were the wrong choice. Going Down is cute rock but as a single it was a bit embarrassing. Shoudl have been just an album track. If That Were Me just plods along and I cringe listening to the lyrics written by a multi-millionaire about the experiences of homeless people. I know it's with good intentions but it just reads badly, personally... Didnt clock that as a young fan, but nowadays it just doesnt ring true and it comes across a bit 'oh poor homeless people, here's some coins'..

the Hex Hector mix of I Turn To You is a classic, but I just doesnt really connect with it anymore. It's very 2000/2001 for me, it didnt age well for me and I honestly cant remember the last time I listened to it.

Northern Star, for me, continues to be her best single. What a tune! It deserved much better recognition and I think the main reason why it didnt get to be as big as NBTSA or ITTY is because of the dreadful video and the fact that the media really had it for anything Spice related back then. The song though, is impecable and still resonates today. The quality of the lyrics and production for me has yet to be matched (when it comes to singles) in her outputs.

Final words: RELEASE IT ON VINYL YOU COWARD!!


This post has been edited by Mr.X: May 6 2020, 08:07 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
vibe
post May 6 2020, 09:58 AM
Post #5
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Members
Posts: 4,888
Member No.: 11,763
Joined: 31-August 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


Melanie's best album for sure!

I love it because it is so varied. Themed albums are not always the best / necessary.

The hex hector remix of I Turn To You really propelled Melanie's career and made it long lasting. I remember rushing down to Woolworth's to buy Reason and was so disappointed because the same quality was not there !! It took me years to love Reason.

1. Go 8/10
2. Northern Star 9/10
3. Goin' Down 8/10
4. I Turn to You 10/10
5. If That Were Me 7/10
6. Never Be the Same Again (feat. Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes) 10/10
7. Why 9/10
8. Suddenly Monday 8/10
9. Gaga 7/10
10. Be the One 8/10
11. Closer 10/10
12. Feel the Sun 10/10

There is not one bad song on the album. I didnt love Goin Down at the time but now i do. It is amazing live and i would include it in every set !!

Singles.
1. Goin Down
2. Northern Star
3. I Turn To You
4. Closer (radio edit)

I do like ITWM but it did not deserve to be the final single. Closer would have been a hit, i think it would have gone top 10! It could have pushed the album 'closer' to 1 million sales.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
vibe
post May 6 2020, 09:59 AM
Post #6
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Members
Posts: 4,888
Member No.: 11,763
Joined: 31-August 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


One final thing i can never tell the difference between album version and single mix of NBTSA!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ilovepollo
post May 6 2020, 10:35 AM
Post #7
BuzzJack Climber
**
Group: Members
Posts: 70
Member No.: 39,573
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE
One final thing i can never tell the difference between album version and single mix of NBTSA!

The instrumental of the begining is different, there's a bit stop after the verse "now I know that we were close before....", and the lenght of the song is different too.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Eduardo
post May 6 2020, 03:10 PM
Post #8
BuzzJack Climber
**
Group: Members
Posts: 98
Member No.: 5,804
Joined: 7-April 08
   No Gallery Pics
 


Good, but overrated.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spiceboy
post May 6 2020, 03:26 PM
Post #9
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Artist Mod
Posts: 3,083
Member No.: 39,568
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Eduardo @ May 6 2020, 04:10 PM) *
Good, but overrated.


BAN pirate.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spiceboy
post May 6 2020, 03:47 PM
Post #10
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Artist Mod
Posts: 3,083
Member No.: 39,568
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


After Spiceworld this is my favourite album of all the Spice related albums wub.gif

I love how varied the tracklisting is with such a range of musical styles from rock to pop to rnb and trip-hop. It's nothing like I was expecting from any of the girls when it was initially released and it is the album to made me move away from just listening to pure pop acts like Steps, B*Witched etc to exploring acts like Fleetwood Mac and Alanis Morrisette at that time (and tons more going further).

I think every track is brilliant and the varied tracklist seems to work really well. I don't understand why she didn't continue to work with the likes o f William or Rick moving forwards as she created some great sounds with them.

The singles were again an mix of genres which reflects the contrast of the album. Going down was an interesting choice for first single, and not really the strongest choice to launch the album (as I suppose was seen by a #10 debut), however I guess it did it's job and showed she was not just Sporty Spice, I always though Go would have been a nice starter single. I wasn't a fan of going down at the time of release (it was too far removed from Spice Girls for me), it was the second single that connected for me. However I grew to love it pretty quickly and I think it's brilliant live!
The follow up of Northern star was an inspired choice as it was very far removed from Going down and clearly resonated better with the public as it's sales are quite high for a #4 single at that time.
Never be the same again of course is just wonderful, and did it's job giving the album the boost it needed as well as being a huge hit in it's own right across Europe. Shame this was never given a US push, the combination of her and Lisa Left Eye alongside the RnB vibe to it would have fit well in America. I wonder how the album would have charted had she released this as her debut single instead of Going down?
I turn to you is great on the album I love the vibe of it, however I feel like the single version boosts it commerically in a huge way. It's such an uplifting get up and dance to it song I adore it, one of my fave solo Spice releases.
If that were me. I actually think this is a beautiful song I love the music and it has good intentions. Should it have been the 5th single I'm not so sure. It's sales were pretty healthy considering it only charted in the bottom end of the top 20. I feel like it could have been boosted with Suddenly Monday perhaps as an A-side to give it an extra push, and also show another vibe to the album? Closer would have been my preferred final single though I think that song is epic. a Closer / Suddenly Monday a-side please! Again I do like If that were me live and I loved the If that were me / Fragile mix on the Sea tour!

1. Never be the same again (both versions) 10/10
2. I turn to you (Hex Hector Mix) 10/10
3. Northern star 10/10
4. Closer 10/10
5. Be the one 10/10
6. Go 10/10
7. Suddenly Monday 10/10
8. Feel the sun 10/10
9. Why 9/10
10. Going down 8/10
11. I turn to you (album version) 8/10
12. If that were me 8/10
13. Gaga 8/10

Another thing the first 4 music videos are fab wub.gif

Final thing I have huge love for her B-side I want you back from this era too wub.gif wub.gif wub.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
gabry
post May 6 2020, 04:32 PM
Post #11
BuzzJack Climber
**
Group: Members
Posts: 56
Member No.: 69,769
Joined: 29-March 18
   No Gallery Pics
 


Never be the same again, i turn to you, if that were me, northern star, be the one
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Michael Andrew
post May 6 2020, 05:29 PM
Post #12
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 707
Member No.: 39,551
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


Northern Star is, of course, an incredible debut album by any standards. Just look at those names.

If they'd gone with a poppier lead single, I think album sales would've been less of a slow burn, and it would've gone to #1. But I can see why Melanie wanted Goin' Down to herald a departure. So from that point of view, props to her.

My dream singles run would've been:

1. Go!
2. Northern Star
3. Never Be The Same Again
4. I Turn To You
5. Ga Ga
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
schizo_spice
post May 6 2020, 05:46 PM
Post #13
BuzzJack Regular
***
Group: Members
Posts: 292
Member No.: 39,574
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


Probably my second or third fave solo record (between this and Free Me)

Like Schizphonic it evokes many happy memories of 1999/2000.

I wasn't a big Goin Down fan so wasnt instantly drawn to getting this album. I bought it after the release of Northern Star the single. Fantastic artwork, although the arrangement of the lyrics is absolutely horrendous and still gives me a sore head attempting to read them blink.gif

The middle 3 singles of this album were all stellar 10/10 moments. Wasn't a huge fan of the other two though.

My fave album track? Probably Closer or Gaga. Why was good but definitely came more alive when she performed it live.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jay ☆
post May 7 2020, 05:41 PM
Post #14
"Jayrusaleminians" - Umi.
*******
Group: Chart Mod
Posts: 25,322
Member No.: 3,217
Joined: 4-April 07
 


My favourite solo Spice album wub.gif

Initially I wasn't into this era. Goin' Down left me cold at the time of its release, although it's a song I came to appreciate a few years later. It was a bit of a shock to the system and I guess 11 year old me wasn't quite ready for it! I don't have particularly strong memories of when Northern Star was a single (somehow I didn't even see the music video for it at the time)... I'm not sure why I wasn't paying attention! S Club 7, Steps and Britney were probably occupying my time musically, ha. I belatedly ended up loving this song though, it's one of her very best. I didn't buy either of her first two singles; years later when I decided I wanted to have a better Spice Girls collection, I found them in charity shops or eBay.

I asked for the Northern Star album CD for Christmas 1999 and I received it (thanks Santa x) but I remember not liking it much at first. Which sames crazy now, but yeah, I definitely dismissed it for a short while.

Never Be the Same Again is when I really came on board with Melanie C the solo artist! I can't remember if it made much of an impression on me in Christmas 99, possibly not, but when it became a single I certainly paid attention and loved it. Then it went to #1! Very deserved. I'm sure around that time I would have reassessed the album, and changed my view on it. I ended up playing it a lot in 2000!

I was obsessed with I Turn to You. Its single mix was totally perfect for summer 2000, and I find it very nostalgic to listen to these days.

I know that If That Were Me is disliked by many fans, but I've always had a soft spot for it. Are the lyrics a bit on the nose, for sure, but it felt well intended and at the end of the day, particularly as it raised money for charity.

Such a fantastic era and obviously Melanie's commercial peak, and I would argue her creative peak too.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jay ☆
post May 7 2020, 06:17 PM
Post #15
"Jayrusaleminians" - Umi.
*******
Group: Chart Mod
Posts: 25,322
Member No.: 3,217
Joined: 4-April 07
 


A Smash Hits interview which I assume is from when she was promoting Never Be the Same Again:


Click to read: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWmbjNHWoAA7IcV...&name=large

Lol at "Victoria has a lot of film scripts to get through". Also, Melanie referring to a second solo album, that early on... I wonder if that was more in terms of ideas and a little bit of writing? A bit weird she used that as an excuse regarding why Forever wouldn't be out for a while.


The main thing I wanted to focus on though is the last question, regarding the five "worst awards" she won at the 1999 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party. Looking back, it's kind of crazy to me that a child/teen magazine was actively encouraging youngsters to be mean. Awards like "most tragic haircut" and "worst dressed" are quite cruel and personal. I can't help but wonder whether moments like this were triggering for Melanie and ate away at her self-esteem. It was certainly a different time. If the magazine or awards show existed now, I'm sure it would prompt backlash on social media. Imagine if a member of Little Mix was declared to have won awards like that? It wouldn't go down well at all.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/551816.stm
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
schizo_spice
post May 7 2020, 07:12 PM
Post #16
BuzzJack Regular
***
Group: Members
Posts: 292
Member No.: 39,574
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


I remember reading about that gig Mel and Geri both appeared at and had a backstage reunion, I think that was why Mel was so pro Geri collecting the Brit Award with them.

Shame we didn't get a pic would've been strange seeing Geri and Mel pictured together from that era.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spiceboy
post May 7 2020, 08:21 PM
Post #17
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Artist Mod
Posts: 3,083
Member No.: 39,568
Joined: 6-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


I always thought those Smash Hit awards were just uncalled for, don't know who thought it was a good idea... then again the media in general were no better. I remember Christina Aguilera winning worse dressed female and ugliest female, so vile.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mr.X
post May 7 2020, 10:06 PM
Post #18
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 1,292
Member No.: 39,587
Joined: 7-September 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


A lot of the British press are incredibly mean. Smash Hits was awful too. Those awards would have been DRAGGED today (and rightly so!)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Feel_The_Fever
post May 7 2020, 10:16 PM
Post #19
BuzzJack Idol
********
Group: Members
Posts: 106,094
Member No.: 845
Joined: 29-June 06
   No Gallery Pics
 


Smash hits had as many worst categories as best and looking back it most have been a complete confidence killer been voted worst in anything.It ran for years though and no one batted an eye lid.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Piers
post Saturday, 08:54 PM
Post #20
BuzzJack Climber
**
Group: Members
Posts: 123
Member No.: 69,521
Joined: 25-March 18
   No Gallery Pics
 


The album's all over the place...and I love that about it. Critics are always calling for cohesion for an album. But. Honestly, Northern Star seems to encapsulate who Mel was at that time. Aren't we all inspired by many types of music? Why limit yourself when expressing who you are?

Few thoughts. Despite the...surprising...new look and sound, I've always liked Goin Down, even from first listen. I don't really think it was the best song to launch the album, though. If she wanted to go rock, I think both Go! and Gaga are more obviously radio friendly (though I realize the latter had already appeared on a big movie soundtrack). I get she probably wanted to arrive in the boldest way possible. But...like I said about Mel B's debut, I'm not sure a lot of the girls' attempts to be edgy paid off.

I've always found the song Northern Star to be gorgeous. It was my favorite song from this era on first listen...though the remix of I Turn To You is so epic, I can't really choose between the two now.

I don't hate it...but If That Were Me is my clear least favorite song on the album...which made it even odder for me when it got picked as a single. (though I get it was for a good cause)

Even the b-sides and unreleased material from this era is really, really good. In fact, I think Follow Me, Something's Gonna Happen, and Independence Day were probably too good to be left off the album. She opened her earliest shows with Something's Gonna Happen...so she had to know it was quite good. I like those three tracks better than probably all but three or four songs on Reason.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post


Reply to this topicStart new topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 30th May 2020 - 02:25 AM