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> Emma Bunton - A Girl Like Me, 1st Album Discussion Thread | Reviews, ratings, opinions
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Spiceboy
post May 20 2020, 10:00 AM
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'A Girl Like Me'
16th April 2001

1. What Took You So Long?
2. Take My Breath Away
3. A World Without You
4. High on Love
5. A Girl Like Me
6. Spell it O.U.T
7. Sunshine on a Rainy Day
8. Been There, Done That
9. Better Be Careful
10. We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight
11. She Was a Friend of Mine
12. What I Am


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Again it's little later than we intended to post it (supposed to be one a week lol) so apologies but here is the second solo Spice album to review, rate and opinionate!

Released on 16th April 2001 Emma finally gave us her debut album! After releasing Forever in November of 2000 and wrapping up promotion by the end of November 2000 (lol) Emma geared up to release her debut album. Recording took place between June of 1999-October 2000.

A Girl Like Me debuted at #4 on the albums chart with first week sales of 21,500 copies and gave us 3 additional Emma Bunton singles What Took You So Long? (#1), Take My Breath Away (#5) and We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight (#20). Her duet with Tin Tin Out (#2) previously released was also included as the album's closing track. A Girl Like Me eventually certified Gold with sales of 126,952 copies in the UK. The album however did not reach top 20 on any other chart across the world, it did however manage top 30 on the Danish charts (#23), and in New Zealand (#21) and top 40 on the Finnish charts (#38). It was reported at the time to have sold 500,000 copies worldwide.

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.


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Jay*
post May 20 2020, 12:56 PM
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cheer.gif

A Girl Like Me is a pleasant album for sure, but I definitely don't think she reached her full potential with it, artistically or commercially speaking. I don't think any of the songs are outright bad - a chunk of them are a bit unremarkable, but they're nice!

She of course had that one killer single in 'What Took You So Long?' - Emma really struck gold with that one! It was a great time to be a Spice fan & to see it become the first solo Spice #1 single to spend longer than a week at the top of the chart. To this day it remains as being one of my absolute favourite solo Spice songs. wub.gif

I wasn't too blown away by the album at the time of its release, but I liked it. It just wasn't love. I think you're always in for a slight disappointment when none of the other tracks on the album are as good as (or better than) the lead single!

I definitely think 'Take My Breath Away' was the correct follow up single choice, I remember when I first heard the album that it was my initial favourite after What Took You So Long?. Otherwise, 'High on Love' would have been a cute choice. Maybe 'Better Be Careful' had potential too. Obviously neither of these were chosen.

I know for sure that I didn't believe 'We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight' was crying out to be a single, so I was pretty surprised when that was announced. Then it transpired that it was a brand new single version. I know the single mix is not particularly popular with the fan base, but I honestly really like it, it's enjoyable! I was really shocked when it only managed to reach #20 in the UK chart (which at the time was the lowest ever charting Spice related single). I'm really not sure what went wrong there. I know many will say it's because it's bad, lol, but I just don't hear what's wrong with it per se. In my opinion there are some worse solo singles which managed to chart higher (let's remember that the vast majority of their releases made the Top 10, so #20 was disastrous). Poor Emma! The performance of this single must have been a factor in her and Virgin parting ways in 2002.

On a personal note, 2001 was a difficult year for me. I was 13 years old and I had to start at a new school mid-way through Year 8, which was difficult. I was eventually bullied by certain classmates, and I had started to become aware of my sexuality and I'm sure most of you relate to that being a confusing time. My love of music really helped me get through these issues! What Took You So Long? was one of my absolute favourite songs from 2001, I played it regularly and it really helped to lift my spirits.

I can't believe this era was 19 years ago! ohmy.gif
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schizo_spice
post May 20 2020, 03:57 PM
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The first five tracks are really strong, it then goes downhill I'm afraid.

I didn't mind the artwork but think a better pic could've been used for the cover.

We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight single mix definitely injected some life into the track. I never understood it flopping either and number 20 was absolutely terrible for 2001 standards.
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Mr.X
post May 20 2020, 10:03 PM
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YAY A BUNTON DISCUSSION wub.gif

First of all, A Girl Like Me is cute.

It's definitely not her best and it has some seriously questionable choices in it. But when it lands, it lands in the right places. You can definitly see that she has a lot of potential as a solo artist who sadly didn't have great A&R with her from her lable.

What Took You So Long? is GORGEOUS. A stunning debut as a solo artist and what a great intro to the album (I dont consider WIA the first single of the album). It's such a classic, it still plays in some European countries on the radio today. An absolute smash hit at the time. I always thought that its record sales in the UK didn't really reflect the success of the track at the time. Or even today. Definitely deserved better sales.

The video is iconic. It was on HEAVY rotation on MTV at the time, and the wolfs are so cute. Plus, Baby Bunton brought the sensuality, finally!!

For me, this is easily Top10 Spice songs. And the best song in the album, Top3 of her singles!

Take My Breath Away is lovely and very much the kind of summer track that you fall in love to whilst walking on the beach with your lover. I remember thinking that it souldnt have been a single, as I much prefered other songs on the album, but I enjoyed it. Her performance of it on TOTPs with the sunflowers was GORGEOUS too.

A nice second single with a cute video. It's very innocent, and I personally think that production wise it could have been a bit more whole (I dont know how to explain it, just that something is kind of missing). Definitely Bunton could have done better, but this was GOOD!

Her performance of it last year at the Albert Hall was stunning and clearly a much welcomed moment as the crowd was loving it. Also, I think this has kind of stood the test of time in a very lovely way. It's grown on me much more with time.

A World Without You- You know what, I used to love this when I was a kid. I gotta admit that just listening to it now and the water drops bit put me off a bit. Maybe it's cos Im slightly scarred from that water drop in Oxygen laugh.gif

BUT I always thought it should have been the Christmas single isntead of We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight. What was she thinking on releasing that song at that time? No wonder it flopped against all the Christmas songs. In hindsight, maybe #20 was a success considering the competition? rolleyes.gif

Also, maybe High On Love would have been a cute Spring single to close the campaign.

I cant believe she actually performed A Girl Like Me on national TV. For me, her worst album track ever (apart from some of the covers). It's so sacarine, I can't enjoy it at all...

Spell it OUT and Better Be Careful are cute too. The rest is a bit mundane to me... I don't really care for any of the rest, including What I Am which I think it is still her worst single yet. I was surprised she didnt performed at the Albert Hall cos it was kind of a hit at the time anyway, but it never did anything much to me.

Sunshine on a Rainy Day is one of her better covers. I will leave it at that cool.gif

Overall, a 6 out of 10, I think. A nice introduction to what became a great popstar.
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Mr.X
post May 20 2020, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE(Jay ☆ @ May 20 2020, 12:56 PM) *
On a personal note, 2001 was a difficult year for me. I was 13 years old and I had to start at a new school mid-way through Year 8, which was difficult. I was eventually bullied by certain classmates, and I had started to become aware of my sexuality and I'm sure most of you relate to that being a confusing time. My love of music really helped me get through these issues! What Took You So Long? was one of my absolute favourite songs from 2001, I played it regularly and it really helped to lift my spirits.

I can't believe this era was 19 years ago! ohmy.gif


cheekkiss.gif

Our young years were though! Glad you had a bit of Bunton to help you through it heart.gif
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Piers
post May 23 2020, 06:00 AM
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What Jay said basically sums up what I think of it.

I think most of it's a fairly solid pop album. It's just weighed down by two covers and two 'eh' songs in Been There, Done That and She Was a Friend of Mine.

Choosing We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight as a single was a curious thing. The song's fine...but I'd have picked four other songs to be the third single ahead of We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight. "Seventh or eighth best song on the album!" isn't my most glowing review. I get that her team might have thought they could tap into a little Spice Girls nostalgia with it. Honestly, the song might have managed a bit more attention by simply including some of her real life celeb gal pals in it. I mean. Sure, at that time, Mel C would rather have a truck run over her foot than participate in that. But maybe the video could have featured Mel B, the Appleton sisters, and Dido with Em...having a night out? (okay, I know that last one sounds a bit like a stretch, but she WAS very complimentary of the album when it came out) Beyonce did something like that in the Get Me Bodied video.

Anyway. To me, the obvious single run was always What Took You So Long - Take My Breath Away - Better Be Careful - High On Love. High On Love, in particular, I was expecting to get a release...as Emma consistently said it was her favorite off the album.
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Mr.X
post May 23 2020, 08:26 AM
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High On Love was screaming to be a single, just like A World Without You was for Christmas.

What Took You So Long? + Take My Breath Away + A World Without You + High On Love would have been a great singles run!
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Chemistry
post May 23 2020, 08:41 AM
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I've always enjoyed this record. Definitely not the most original or innovative one, but it did the job and suited Emma very well. What Took You So Long? is obviously the highlight and still one of the best solo-Spice songs for me. Other highlights are High On Love, Sunshine On A Rainy Day and A World Without You. As well as the two singles, which I think are both great tunes.
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Eduardo
post May 25 2020, 12:14 AM
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It was OK for a 2001 pop album.
I always thought "Invincible" would be a nice album track.
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Spiceboy
post May 31 2020, 11:47 AM
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So I listened to the full album for the first time since probably 2001 when it was released kink.gif

1. What took you so long - An enduring classic total 11/10 record. I've always loved it and it just doesn't age for me a classy beauty of a song. It's in my top 10 favourite Solo Spice tracks (top 5 probably) it deserved to be a seller on the likes of NBTSA, ITTY, IRM.

2. Take my breath away - I never really appreciated this song that much, found it a little boring. However after seeing her perform it at The Royal Albert Hall I've totally fallen in love with it. Really nice summery track and I totally see why it was the second single now. Listening to the rest of the album there isn't really a clear song above this for second single.

3. A world without you - Another one that surprised me and I had forgotten about. A lovely song, this would have been a nice single contender.

4. High on love - I've always really liked this and I think I possibly didn't like TMBA as much back in the day because I wanted this to be a single. It would have been a nice single but I don't think it would have done much and actually both TMBA and AWWY are both better contenders.

5. A girl like me - I've always liked this. It's a bit naff but a good sing along. I used to think this would be a great single, but not so sure about that anymore.

6. Spell it O.U.T - Nice enough song but a little bit boring I wouldn't choose to listen to it again, I wouldn't turn it off it came on shuffle type of song.

7. Sunshine on a rainy day - Another nice enough but a little bit boring song.

8. Been there done that - This was a nice listen I'd forgotten all about this song.

9. Better be careful - OK

10. We're not gonna sleep - I hated this back in the day but found it OK this time.

11. She was a friend of mine - I was bored by this point didn't really enjoy this song.

12. What I am - A good ending perked me up a bit again, I've always liked Emma's version of this song, I like the guitar in it and she sounds really good.


Overall it was nice enough but a bit boring. The first 4 tracks are quite strong (or incredible for WTYSL) but then after that it was all very much yeah sure whatever. I wouldn't actively choose to listen to many of the tracks but I wouldn't turn them off if they came on shuffle and I think that kind of says everything about the album and Emma herself as a solo artist by that point... she / it is nice but it's not interesting, certainly had Emma being a soloist without having been in the Spice Girls I wouldn't have given it the time of day (not that I did much tbh).

So far this is my least favourite of the albums I've listened to in the solo reviews, Mel B's at least is a bit more interesting, thank God she turned things round with Free Me.
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sammy01
post Jun 1 2020, 04:08 PM
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A cute debut album, as always with Emma there aren't any really bad songs just some bland ones.

Half the album is very strong though and the first 2 singles were absolutely top notch. I'd have gone like this for the singles run personally -

What took you so long?
Take my breath away
Sunshine on a rainy day
World without you

I think Sunshine would have been an easy top 10 single for her, it has a sing a long chorus and her voice absolutely suits it too. World without you would be the gorgeous ballad to finish off the album with a theatre tour.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 5th July 2020 - 01:05 PM