Picks and Pans Review: Emma

updated 02/14/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/14/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

Free Me

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Emma Bunton, the artist formerly known as Baby Spice, seeks to free herself from her Spice Girls moniker with a more adult sound on her first U.S. solo release. Blending airy '60s pop with modern-day Euro-pop, the result is a Petula Clark-meets-Kylie Minogue cocktail that goes down smoothly. Bunton sounds surprisingly sophisticated on tracks like the title cut, with its lush strings and her sweet but sultry vocals. When she sings "I long to seduce you," it's clear that Bunton is now a grown-up. Even so, she still knows how to have fun. The kitschy "Maybe" finds her getting in touch with her inner go-go girl.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "I'll Be There"

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