The myth of the survivor, the diva, endures....
The myth of the survivor, the diva, endures. The rainbow of pills and roses under the dressing room mirror, the tear stains on satin, the perfect performance from ruined hearts – this is the stuff of legend. Being famous for your hair colour, a possible spat with some other millionairesses and wearing the Union Jack – this isn’t.
Here is a woman of (to be kind) [I]dubious [/I]talent; a woman who only exists between a red-top banner and a bold black headline, thin as newsprint, subtle as a paparazzi shot. If you really care about royal breasts or dead newscasters, you’ll be happy with [a]Geri Halliwell[/a]’s debut like you would be with a cereal packet dragged from a starry Beverly Hills trashcan. Cheap memorabilia, nothing more. If, however, you find the whole celebrity carnival as thrilling as watching Stereophonics watching paint dry, then this marketing ploy is unlikely to have you waving palm leaves in the street. Of course, you’d have to believe in leprechauns to think artistic value was the point.
‘Schizo-phonic’, breaking every seduction rule of women’s magazines, is an act of pure desperation. Count the signs: the 60-piece orchestra; the Latino number; the plucky showstopper, the maudlin ballad. It’s clichid like a river of tears running past, yes, a mountain so high, yet when you’re trying to be all things to all people, that’s inevitable. ‘Look At Me’ says it all, attempting to create a self-reflexive conundrum, the knowingly blank canvas, the irony-chip Idoru. What soon becomes clear, though, is this is a woman who probably believes postmodernism is something to do with e-mail. Craving adoration, but desiring respect more, that title alone suggests she needs the world to say, “But Geri! You’re so [I]complex[/I]!” so she can smile bravely and reveal her voyage of self-discovery. Tedious enough from a DNA pioneer or arctic explorer – from someone whose vocation is grimacing through the embarrassing sex-funk of ‘Bag It Up’, or modelling the ill-fitting supper-jazz gown of ‘Goodnight Kiss’, it’s completely unnecessary. The bizarre Kula Shaker moment of ‘Let Me Love You’ even appears to flirt with bisexuality. It sounds like it’s flirting with a radiator.
Often she refers to being a [I]”little girl” [/I]in a [I]”grown-up world”[/I], as if her vulnerability, her unformed pop star psyche make her an object of fascination. Yet great pop music has always been about dealing with the grime and grit. Understanding the heartbreak. Soundtracking the pain. This doesn’t even give good platitude. The show must go on, says the myth. You’re not supposed to wonder why it bothers.