If you like this, you're clinically insane
Cataclysmically delusional harpy, self-hating exhibitionist, shameless media manipulator – by rights, Geri Halliwell should be as endlessly fascinating a mad bonkers pop star as Eminem. In reality, she plumbs Jim Belushi-esque depths of startling idiocy, and remains, for the smart [I]CD:UK[/I] generation, an embarrassment.
‘Scream If You Wanna Go Faster’, then, is the sound of Crisis Spice arriving back in a pop climate she should have dominated after ‘Schizophonic’. Back then, there remained such a thing as the Spice Girls, a pulsating pop entity still in control of the pre-teens’ allowances, a corporation Geri flew from with such propulsion that she somehow managed to produce a solo album even barmier than the two Spice records. It was moronic, psychotic stuff, a symptom of a moronic, psychotic mind – but hey, it beat listening to ‘Northern Star’.
But then, bizarrely, Geri failed to reach the level of grasping fame of her mate Robbie. First Mel C, then Kylie stole her thunder, while Halliwell retreated to a self-generated hinterland of post-fame burn-out, therapy and disturbing body restructuring. The time away has drained her of any of the ‘fuck you, look at me, aren’t I great?’ attitude of her first solo venture, where the excesses of having driven the planet’s spangliest pop juggernaut were still evident. Far too much of this record – the ineffectual ballad ‘Circles Round The Moon’, bland-out ‘Strength Of A Woman’, ill-advised reggae-lite farrago ‘Lovey Dovey Stuff’ – sounds like out-takes from the Caprice sessions, which was never the point of Ginger.
Having spent far too long analysing her mixed-up head, what we’re offered is a breakdown record disguised as a knowingly ironic comment on her celeb ‘dilemma’. The key track is, inevitably, ‘Heaven And Hell (Being Geri Halliwell)’, a depressing example of a pop star’s complete self-delusion. Over a hysterical soundtrack of treated guitar with awful vaudeville flourishes, she dissects the tabloid circus in typical [I]idiot savant [/I]fashion: [I]”Have a drink – alcoholic/Grab a coat – shopaholic/Grab a bite – anorexic/Intellectual? I’m dyslexic”[/I]. It is, quite possibly, the worst song ever made.
She’ll never get it right, which for a while, like Sarah Ferguson, was part of her pathetic charm. Now, she doesn’t have a clue any more. In an attempt to be a 21st-century pop Liza Minnelli, she’s bypassed the interesting stuff and gone straight to her very own [I]Muppets In Manhattan[/I].