Angels In Chains – Geri Halliwell – Review


By Alex

When Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls in 1998, she went to stay with George Michael. Their relationship had blossomed during Ginger Spice’s rise to fame, Michael becoming a reliable confidant and friend, their friendship based on a mutual respect and admiration. The two remained close friends until Christmas Day of 2016 when Michael died.

Half a year on, Halliwell has debuted her tribute track to Michael titled ‘Angels In Chains’, her first solo release in four years. Featuring backing vocals from Michael’s original ‘musical family’, it’s a track that echoes with familiarity, both in sound and in its many references to Michael’s career.

‘Angels In Chains’ is a piano ballad, risky territory for Halliwell who has never been known for her strong vocals. While she starts off a little shaky, she soon finds her feet, the plush percussive accompaniment helping to smooth over any rough edges. It’s a heartfelt tribute from Halliwell, awash with real emotion and a clever repurposing of Michael’s style, the gospel-influenced backing vocals and crescendo chorus reminiscent of many of his famous ballads.

Halliwell’s mission to shoehorn in as many song titles as possible is a little grating at times, lines like “Father Figure, brother, friend,” feeling like a pointless exercise in box-ticking rather than an attempt to say anything new. Its slow build can make for a frustrating listen too, though the pay off is certainly worth the wait. Hearing her belt the line “We’re all angels in chains,” as she does on the final chorus is a powerful moment, the apex of a track that is otherwise focused on restraint and poise.

Despite its few shortcomings, ‘Angels In Chains’ is nonetheless a mature and sophisticated tribute track, beautifully crafted by Halliwell and delivered with an earnestness that never becomes overbearing. Writing a fitting tribute to George Michael was always going to be a big task, but here Halliwell proves she’s more than up to the job.


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