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“Spice Up Your Life,” the Spice Girls advise on the first single from Spiceworld, quickly made in order to capitalize on the forthcoming movie of the same name. If that sounds more like an ad slogan than a call for variety, solidarity, and kicks, it’s not the only time the Prefab Five’s second album echoes the language of a carefully planned campaign: The chorus of “Move Over” is built around the phrase “Generation Next,” the rallying cry of the Brits’ current Pepsi spot. And if, in turn, you come to the conclusion that this record isn’t nearly as enjoyable as last winter’s model, well, you’re right. Any question about the creative contributions of Scary, Posh, Baby, Ginger, and Sporty to their own music is moot; like “Candle in the Wind 1997,” Spiceworld is made to be bought, not listened to. Sure, they trade vocals this time, leaning less on the Bananarama-style gang approach of their debut, and yeah, the Motown-lite confection “Stop” doesn’t exactly hurt the ear, but this disc is, at heart, a bigger insult than anything a bunch of die-hard anarchists like Chumbawamba could imagine—only without the kick of “Tubthumping.” It also ends on a note as jarring, as strange, as any heard this year, with the fake-lounge (now there’s a concept) “Lady Is a Vamp,” which unfortunately praises “Jackie O” and Marilyn Monroe in the same verse, then ups the ante with a shout-out to Sandy Denny (!) as a Spicy role model. All together now: Uh huh.

—Rickey Wright