With the impending tour, spice up your life again

Jinae West

Listening to the Spice Girls’ debut album, Spice, after more than 10 years is like riding a bike.

Easy to remember. Hard to forget.

So, push the pedals and grip the handlebar. Grab the iPod and turn up the volume and take a ride down “Girl Power” lane.

The Spice Girls became an international phenomenon in the late 1990s due to unprecedented commercial success with “Wannabe,” a chart-topping single that sold over six million copies worldwide. Members Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell formed the all-girl group but were better known as Posh, Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger in which every adolescent girl managed to find a stark reflection of herself. According to “Spicemania” logic, the vast majority of the world is not broken into two or three or even four types of people but five.

You go, girl.

In 1998, Gerri Halliwell left the Spice Girls and over the next few years, the rest of the group followed suit to pursue other interests. Posh married David. Scary focused on a scant solo career. Baby, in an inevitable feat of irony, had one of her own. And Sporty and Ginger gained admirable fame sans track pants and Union Jack paraphernalia.

As of now, the Spice Girls are back, preparing to begin their sold-out reunion tour in Vancouver, British Columbia, December 2. They’re a little older. A tad bit wiser. But so are their fans.

And it all started with Spice.

Collectively, the album is filled with one-hit wonders that lack any real emotional or intellectual depth, and the so-called positive female empowerment for which the group was credited is questionable. But Spice is undeniably catchy: It’s as charming as it was in 1996.

But it’s difficult to fully critique songs like “Wannabe,” “Say You’ll Be There” and “2 Become 1.” It’s comparable to picking apart cotton candy or dissecting the deeper meaning of Fun Dip. Sometimes it just doesn’t exist, and often it’s for the better.

The Spice Girls was a passing phase for Generation Y, but one that’s enjoyable to revisit every now and then. And like riding that bike, singing the first call-and-response verse to “Wannabe” is nearly second nature. Just keep pedaling.

Contact all correspondent Jinae West at [email protected].