With the Spice Girls reunion tour having wrapped in Toronto last night (Feb. 26), Melanie C is resuming her solo career with her fourth album, "This Time." The set is due April 8 via her own Red Girl

With the Spice Girls reunion tour having wrapped in Toronto last night (Feb. 26), Melanie C is resuming her solo career with her fourth album, "This Time." The set is due April 8 via her own Red Girl imprint.

In Canada, where the artist will begin a national tour in May, she licensed the recording to EMI Music.

"When I was released from my contract with Virgin, I had options," says Melanie Chisholm, who also goes by Mel C and is nicknamed Sporty Spice. "I could attempt to sign with another major. I could go with an independent or start my own label."

"And having experience with a major label, it was nice to be able to do the exact opposite and own the copyright to my songs," she continues. "I was very fortunate with the Spice Girls; financially, I was able to set up my own label and finance my own record."

Before all the publicity from the Spice Girl reunion, little had been heard from Chisholm in North America following the success of her solo debut, 1999's "Northern Star," which sold close to 3 million units worldwide. Her two subsequent albums, 2003's "Reason" and 2005's "Beautiful Intentions," were not released in the States.

Chisholm describes "Beautiful Intentions" as a rockier release and says she wanted to do something different on "This Time," which she calls "mature pop." The first single, the upbeat pop track "Carolyna," tells the story of a young runaway, but it's the only issue-oriented lyric on the album.

"I think most of the songs on this album are more about relationships and personal feelings and fears and experiences," she says, including being a child of divorce ("Your Mistake") and love conquering all ("The Moment You Believe").

As for cutting the Spice Girls tour short, Chisholm, the only member if the group without kids, is blown away by how well it was received, especially the four sell-out arena shows at Toronto's Air Canada Centre and one at Madison Square Garden in New York.

"We hoped that we'd be able to at least do some dates here and at home; we just never realized we'd be able to do the amount that we have," she marvels. "We've pushed it as far as we can go because some of the children are in school now and, of course, that's the girls' priority."