The Spice Girls cast a long shadow. A whole lot of people are geeked up about the ’90s pop icons’ current reunion tour. Posh Spice is apparently too rich to take part, so only 80% of the group is on board. The tour opener was marred by sound issues. It doesn’t matter. People are still fired up. One of those people is Charli XCX.
On Instagram yesterday, Charli wrote, “looked up and spoke to the pop gods and they said ‘Charli – you’re the chosen one, you must honor the spice girls’ return with a mind blowing version of one of their most iconic smash hits’ and I said ‘k no probs hun I got this.'” That particular iconic smash hit is “Wannabe,” the trans-Atlantic chart-topper that first put the Spice Girls on the map in 1996. And today, as The FADER points out, Charli has teamed up with Diplo and French dance producer Herve Pagez to give “Wannabe” a full-on festival-EDM reworking.
For whatever reason, the new version of “Wannabe” has been retitled “Spicy.” But it’s not a dance song that samples or interpolates “Wannabe.” Instead, it’s basically a full-on cover, with Charli playing the parts of all five Spice Girls. As powerful as a personality as she may be, she’s not up to the task of replicating the anarchic glee of the original, and she doesn’t really try. Instead, it’s a work of straight-up nostalgia, a nod to a song that was formative for a whole lot of people. There’s also a video that involves neon CGI space dolphins. Below, check out the “Spicy” video, as well as the video for the original “Wannabe.”
“Spicy” is out now on the streaming services. So is “Blame It On Your Love,” the Lizzo collab that Charli released a couple of weeks ago.