Fallen Star

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The first single off of Spice Girl Melanie C’s solo debut, Northern Star, seemed promising enough. Full of crunching guitars and sporting a distorted Sporty, “Goin’ Down” resembled nothing like her parent group’s synth-driven sacharrine fare.

But rather than take that song’s cue and create an album that could stand in contrast to the Spicey milleu, Northern Star comes across as a jack of all musical trades but a master of none.

From track to track, Melanie Chisolm attempts to tackle a different variation on the same kind of music — unabashed pop. A rap ditty on “Never Be the Same Again.” Torch techno on “I Turn to You.” Third-rate Brian Wilson bounciness on “Suddenly Monday.”

As a result, what could have been a statement of creative independence turns out to be another variation on a dubious commercial act.

Geri Halliwell’s Schizophonic released earlier this year made no attempt to distinguish itself from Spice Power. Melanie C’s tries, but fails.

How unfortunate.