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Gabriella Cilmi

  • Lessons To Be Learned

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    Gabriella Cilmi

    lessons to be learned

    Lessons To Be Learned 7 ( 2008 )
    Daydreamer / Best For Last / Chasing Pavements / Cold Shoulder / Crazy For You / Melt My Heart To Stone / First Love / Right As Rain / Make You Feel My Love / My Same / Tired / Hometown Glory

    'Is Gabriella Cilmi the new Amy Winehouse?' asked The Sunday Times. Well, no. She's Australian for a start. Sorry to be pedantic, but we don't even want another Amy Winehouse, do we? Gabriella Cilmi has created a smart, commercial project whichever way you look at it, selling records by the truckload in the UK, her native Australia and even looking like she might break through in the US. That this album was written and recorded in collaboration with the team that produced Sugababes and Girls Aloud is slightly frightening though, especially when it sounds so confident and savvy. Is she the girl that can ‘pull it off’, where those aforementioned acts failed, eg, become a worldwide star? Do we even care, I hear you asking? Well, not really, but i've got to fill the review with something, haven't I? I can't mention the actual music, that wouldn't be professional for a professional record review. Everybody else just re-writes the PR blurb and sticks a full stop here and there, after all.

    Well, I shall mention some music. Sorry about that. My, this is actually quite a varied album. It moves from Winehouse style to blues to pop. I mean, 'Awkward Game' demonstrates a possible avenue for Winehouse herself, blues based changes which then move into an electro ballad and back again to acoustic and blues. 'Cigarettes And Lies' appears to want to do a similar thing before getting all funky on us, funky in a real way, not processed pro-tooled way. Probably was pro-tooled, yet this album manages to sound decent production and mixing wise, quite rare for a modern LP.

    Yet, yet, yet - somehow 'Lessons To Be Learned' lacks the emotional depth of an Amy Winehouse or indeed even a Duffy. Duffy may only be acting, but she sounds like she means it. Gabriella just doesn't have enough beneath the lyrics or beyond the accomplished ( too accomplished? ) soul-styled lead vocals. Those moments that make you drop whatever you are doing? She's too good, too perfect. Where are the surprises and bad notes and melodic shifts we weren't expecting? Not here, that's where - and sadly this lends the LP quite a disposable feel. It's nice whilst it plays, but in 12 months time? Lessons to be learned, indeed.

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    this page last updated 7/06/08

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