Mel C. Promises "More Mature" Spice Girls Album

Geri's gone and the two Mels have been dabbling in solo work; even so, the sparkling, candy-coated boat known as the Spice Girls is still on course to deliver a new album.

After delivering the one-two punch of 1996's "Spice" and 1997's "Spiceworld," the Girls did some heavy-duty time on the road before splintering and following different pursuits. Mel C. recorded a solo album ("Northern Star"), Emma hosted a TV show, and Mel G. and Victoria got hitched, leading many to wonder if the time would ever be right for the four to become one again.

The answer came this summer when the stars aligned and the Girls hit a London studio to begin work on their third album.

"We're really excited, actually, because it's been a long time since we've been in the studio," Melanie C. told MTV News while in New York recently to promote "Northern Star."

"With the world tour last year, and then

'Spiceworld' was like two years ago, I think, so we were a little bit nervous, but we knew once we got back together it would be fine."

This time out, the Spice camp is bolstered by Rodney Jerkins, whose golden touch has already been applied to Jennifer Lopez, Brandy, Monica, Whitney Houston, and others.

"We've got some great stuff with him, and also [Jimmy] Jam and [Terry] Lewis, so it's gonna be a good album," Mel C. said. "It's a bit more mature, but it's not a mature album, but you know, a little bit more mature than the first two. Still very poppy, quite R&B based... we feel vocally a lot stronger now after the world tour and being a four-piece." [RealVideo]

The album won't arrive any time in the near future (as no release date has been set), though Mel C. says the Girls are planning a few live shows for the holiday season. Chisholm said that she then plans

an extensive U.S. tour for February before rejoining her Spice counterparts for a U.S. tour next summer.

You can check out much more from Mel C. in our MTV News Online feature, "Melanie C… Pleased To Meet You."