By Jon Wiederhorn
Is the newly leaked early Spice Girls song "Strong Enough" good enough to hold up to the band's back catalog or the current crop of dance pop bands. Errrr, maybe not. But it’s not entirely the Girls' fault.
The track was posted on YouTube Tuesday and according to the text on the site, it’s an old "demo taken from a cassette that Melanie B (a.k.a. Sporty Spice) sold at auction."
The band’s management hasn't confirmed that the song is actually the Spice Girls, but the Huffington Post reported that Melanie Brown has a track record of contributing early Spice Girls memorabilia to charity auctions.
The English girl group haven’t played live since their 2007 reunion tour, but their music is currently being performed in the West End musical retrospective "Viva Forever!" which was written by Jennifer Saunders, produced by Judy Craymer and directed by Paul Garrington. The show opened December 11, 2012 and is scheduled to close June 29 due to poor ticket sales.
For the many critics who panned the performance, that’s hardly soon enough.
"I'll tell you what I wanted, what I really really wanted – I wanted this terrible show to stop. Viva Forever! has absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever,” wrote the Daily Telegraph, mocking the lyrics to the Spice Girls smash hit "Wannabe."
"Charmless, messy, lackluster... Viva Forever! forever? I rather think not," echoed The Independent.
Which brings us back to "Strong Enough." Maybe it was leaked as a marketing move to keep the momentum on the Spice Girls going, at least until "Viva Forever!" closes. As they say, any press is good press and "Strong Enough" seems destined to generate some pretty strong comments.
The lyrics are insipid; the Girls repeat, "I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough / I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough" ad nauseam. The music is just as uninspired. At times, the vocal production resemble Janet Jackson’s "Control," albeit without her sense of sexuality and confidence.
If releasing "Strong Enough" is a marketing move -- and we're not saying it is -- it’s a poor one. Of four YouTube links posting the song, only one had generated more than 2,000 views 15 hours after it went up.
Of course, there was a time Spice Girls were larger than life. Their 1996 debut "Spice" went seven times platinum and "Spice World," which also spawned a movie, was quadruple platinum, according to the RIAA. As of January 2010, Spice Girls have sold more than 80 million records across the world and have remained relatively inactive -- until now.
Spice Girls' last studio album "Forever" came out in 2000 and sold five million copies worldwide, despite negative reviews. They reunited in 2007 and released the compilation album "Greatest Hits" to promote their world reunion tour.