Words: Will Stroude
We might be four months out from the Spice Girls' latest reunion tour, but a fresh wave of Spice-mania will surely greet the announcement of Emma Bunton's first solo album in 12 years.
Yep, Baby has been back in the studio over the last two years and is set to unleash her fourth studio album My Happy Place on April 12, featuring a series classic covers and two original songs.
Emma's teamed up stars including Will Young and Josh Kumra for duets including 'I Only Want To Be With You' and 'Come Away With Me', and has even recorded a new version of the Spice Girls 1996 chart-topper '2 Become 1' with Robbie Williams.
As long as Emma's still delivering her iconic 'Put it on' safe sex lyric, we're SOLD.
The first original tack from My Happy Place, titled 'Baby Please Don't Stay', is set to be released on Wednesday (27 February). Written by Bunton and with Paul Barry and Patrick Mascall, it's billed a smooth slice of sixties-styled pop.
"The reason I called the album My Happy Place is because my happy place is with my family, with my friends, listening to music and being in the studio", says Emma.
"All those things came together on this album. While recording it my kids came to the studio, my friends came down, my mum listened to every song over and over again. Being in the studio I just feel so happy.
The 43-year-old star goes on: "As you get older you feel more confident because actually your priorities change, and my family have become my focus, but this album is like the icing on the cake.
"Being able to write, record and perform is definitely that extra sprinkle of magic".
Since first dipping her toes into solo waters with 1999's 'What I Am' with Tin Tin Out, Emma's scored seven UK Top 10 hits and two UK Top 10 albums, making her the second most successful solo Spice after Geri Horner (not that we would ever compare our girls).
It remains to be seen whether the Emma, Geri, Mel C, Mel B will delve into their solo back catalogues when they tour the UK in June without Victoria Beckham, but the announcement of My Happy Place has given us the perfect excuse to start with yet another listen of our Emma Bunton playlist (You can listen to our personal fave, 2004's 'Maybe', below...)
My Happy Place is set for release on April 12.