Universal - 2003 - 42 minutes

While the outward appearance of Baby Spice has well and truly been shaken off by Emma Bunton, the peppy musical content that reminds us so much of the Spice Girls remains.

But that is not to the detriment of 'Free Me'. Emma's voice suits pop and her material is very commercial. Initial releases 'Maybe' and 'Free Me' set a good vibe for the rest of the album. What follows is an upbeat musical experience, with a nice range of material.

Emma herself has been responsible for writing songs on 'Free Me' but she has also wisely drawn from the experience of long-time industry professionals like Cathy Dennis and Ray Hedges.

With catchy lyrics, the tunes employ a range of instruments, making worthy use of percussion and strings in particular. Emma also successfully plays with different styles, putting a Latino twist on 'Crickets Sing For Anamaria'. Overall, an inspired little package.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Free Me - Maybe - I'll Be There - Tomorrow - Breathing - Crickets Sing For Anamaria - No Sign Of Life - Who The Hell Are You - Lay Your Love On Me - Amazing - You Are - Something So Beautiful.