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  • Ten
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4.5 out of 5 stars26
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 June 2014
The phrase that kept playing over in my mind as I listened to this was "explosion in a synthesiser factory". There is, for this listener, too much synthesiser on this CD. So how can I open with a comment like that and still give the disc four stars? The quality of the songs and of Gabriella's voice allow me to overlook the sometimes overdone electronica.

The disc opens with On A Mission. If you play the CD for the first time having never heard this song you might think you've been sold a Joe Jackson CD instead! On A Mission starts with bass guitar playing the backing to Joe's Steppin' Out. Gabriella admits that this was deliberate as the whole album is meant to be a tribute to the sounds of the early 80s. This is a lively upbeat song and definitely one of the highlights of the disc.

This is followed by Hearts Don't Lie which is quite funky. As a Rock fan I wouldn't usually use this as a compliment, but this is a very enjoyable song.

Then comes What If You Knew: a very catchy song and the second highlight. Then we have Love Me Cos. This is one of the songs that are too electronic for comfort, yet by the end it was definitely growing on me and I decided I had to refer to it as the third highlight.

Next is Defender. This is a much softer song than the four that went before it, although it does build up towards the end. A military snare drum adds to the atmosphere and this is the fourth highlight of the disc. And that's where it starts to go wrong.

Having selected four of the first five songs as highlights I was convinced I was going to write a five-star review. I'm sorry to say that Let Me Know was the only remaining highlight. The rest of the disc is certainly good (with the exception of Sweet About Me) but only one song is good enough to be classed as a highlight.

The disc ends with Sweet About Me (twenty ten version) which is very similar to the original, but with added synthesiser. The original version is wonderful. This one is merely ok.
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on 12 September 2011
She's an odd one isn't she Gabriella? She makes the kind of music that I would not normally listen to. After the excellent first album, she made 10, with a change of direction which would have been disappointing were this album not so good. The music has some very good tunes, and is mainly disco and dance. It reminds me at times of Goldfrapp. But the thing that makes this album special, just like the first one, is Gabriella. Her voice carries that special something that makes each song eminently listenable. Highly recommended.

It's only a matter of time before the cognoscenti start going on about how good a singer Gabriella is.
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on 4 April 2010
Like many people, I first encountered Gabriella when she was supporting Nouvelle Vague in 2008, and was blown away by her raw talent. An extrememely solid debut album, 'Lessons To Be Learned' followed, showing that she was no mere flash in the pan. Like many artists, she was faced with the dilemma of producing a copy of her successful debut or going in a different direction. 'Ten' is that different direction, following a more electro/pop template.

It begins strongly with two crackers,'On A Mission' and 'Hearts Don't Lie'. They're undeniably derivative, but pop gold nonetheless. Then everything seems to get a bit lost, only coming up for air with the cheekily sassy 'Superhot'. Many of the tracks seem to rely on Gabriella's upper register rather than the gutsy vocal she's capable of. The album ends with a bonus track, an electro reworking of 'Sweet About Me'. This is excellent, at least as good as the original and possibly better. However, the reappearance of 'Sweet About Me' presents a problem for 'Ten'. On 'Lessons To Be Learned' it was one of a number of standout tracks on a strong album; its presence here only seems to accentuate how few of the preceding tracks can hold a candle to it.

This is not to say that 'Ten' is a bad album. It's clearly aimed the current pop market and on those terms it has some success. It's at least as good as 'Hands' by Little Boots and significantly better than the La Roux debut. However, compared to Gabriella's own debut it sounds somehow... generic. When I heard 'Lessons To Be Learned' I though it was the album of an artist with some longevity. 'Ten' seems to be the album of an artist who will sell this year but be off the radar in two years' time.

I hope this isn't the case. I still think Gabriella is amazingly talented, but following the current pop herd isn't for her. It's important to remember that this is Gabriella's second album and she's not yet twenty. This is only the beginning of her career and I'm confident that she'll produce superior work in the future. However, it would be interesting to hear what she thinks of 'Ten' in ten years' time...
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on 22 November 2013
I had known Gabriella Cilmi for her firstly hit "Sweet About Me" that has come out a few time before this Album has done it.

So, to listen to some other songs of hers I bought this Album that also contains that hit "Sweet About Me" indeed.

In this her second disc her firstly sound has been kept giving in all the Album a nice musicality that promises good.

A good buying so, reccomended Album.
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on 7 April 2010
another has got the 'gaga' sound (electro-pop)
gabriella has ditched the soul/pop/funk/jazz/r&b pop and followed lady gaga's type of sound electro-pop

its very different to here first album, but if you are into the electro/snyth-pop. (like most artists today) you'll love/like this album, its very likeable, with its easy-to-like tunes, and cilmi's chatchy voice with her tunes, its a easy-to-like album.

all her songs are 3/4/5 out of 5, so theres no really dissapointing songs, the only dissapointment(s) of this album are for the people who like gabriella cilmi but dont like electro-pop music, sorry, bad luck.

in all this album gets a score of 8 out of 10, a good buy.
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on 30 March 2010
I did not want to hear a repeat of Lessons to be Learned and I understand that artists need to develop their style, but this album simply conforms to a commercial pattern - nice but no different to hundreds of others.
Lessons to be Learned introduced a new and entertaining sound that I wanted to hear more of. Unfortunately, in my opinion, someone somewhere has mis-advised Gabriella and could have sent her down the blind alley towards obscurity.
Come on Gabriella, lets hear your great voice and the style your proved you had on Lessons to be Learned, before Paloma Faith takes the crown you earned with your amazing track Sweet About Me!
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on 23 July 2010
Australian singer, Gabriella Cilmi, famous for 2008 single, "Sweet about Me" has released new album "Ten" with some massive changes. The previous album "Lessons to be Learned" launched her early career and music critics quickly compared her to the likes of Amy Winehouse. Vocally there are some similarities, but this album is far more disco than anything Winehouse has produced. The album "Ten" is a disco electric inspired record that's embedded with sassy lyrics and one heck of a powerful voice.

There are a couple of ballads on "Ten", which slow the tempo down somewhat in what is otherwise an up-tempo ride of tunes. The album kicks off with the first released single "On a Mission" and it's clear from the self-assured start that Gabriella is not giving up on her objective of making an impact musically, it is both catchy and motivational. If you are a big fan of the song, it is not the best on the album and there are even better tracks. "Hearts Don't Lie" is another stomper with Gabriella singing low key and then moving furiously into disco. The vocals are incredible and should please critics who believe Gabriella's unique voice has simply got lost in the music. "What if you Knew" explores the dilemma of falling in love with your best friend and is a lush sounding 80's dance ballad. It has a well crafted interlude and works like a dream, it is a standout on the album. "Love me cos you want to", is a classic sad love song with soft vocals and a stunning fade out.

"Defender" slows things down and we take a break from relentless disco. It has an old vintage sound and although listenable, tends to lull a bit. "Robots" is an interesting concept for a love song and one that eradicates flawed human dispositions in favour of electric love and programmable kisses. The lyrics "rebuilt with no mistakes, steel heart that never breaks," are fantastic and this is immaculate futuristic pop at its best and one of my favourites. "Superhot" speeds up the tempo and is rather Kate Bush sounding. The song is fun, sexy and totally addictive. "Boys" scrutinizes boy culture and the regular "lad's night out", and here Gabriella manages to turn the phrase "getting laid" into yodelling, it's pop genius. "Invisible Girl" is another anthem for women, it's sassy, catchy and ambitious.

Ten is one of the best pop disco albums out this year and it would be sad if this record did not receive the credit it deserves. Pop lovers will be converted with this fun and emotional set of songs which are far more exciting than "Sweet about me". Even if this is only a temporary dipping of her painted toes into mainstream pop, this is still a great entry. The album is dripping with catchy pop melodies and has at least eight hit songs, so it's way above avergage. Don't miss out on this album.
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on 23 March 2010
I really, really liked the single On A Mission so I had fairly high hopes for the album. Even though I expected it to be good, I'm surprised that it's surpassed all my expectations so thoroughly. It's a much more consistent album than I expected. There isn't a dud track and there are numerous highlights spread throughout the disc and not front-loaded like most pop albums. Even the weakest tracks (5 and 11) are decent enough songs in their own right.

This is a very good, strong album by any measure, and by pop album measures it's probably a masterpiece.

I thought her first album was weak with only the first two songs (ie. the first two singles) making any impact. To say this is a big step forward is an understatement. Everyone says she's moved in the direction of Kylie's modern disco sound. Personally she reminds me more of Little Boots (not dissimilar to Kylie) who also has a strain of sci-fi lyrics and synth sounds in her music and images.

1. On A Mission (5 out of 5 stars)
A brilliant monster of a track full of great synth and percussion sounds. Even the spoken word breakdown section works. In my opinion it's one of the best new songs I've heard in years.*

2. Hearts Don't Lie (5 stars)
Good 70's style disco stomper that works a groove. Reminds me of Ticking by Chungking who in turn sound like Goldfrapp.

3. What If You Knew (3 stars)
Up-front vocals on this fairly up-tempo ballad. It's better than it should be. It's quite short and the ending is slightly too abrupt for my liking.

4. Love Me Cos You Want To (4 stars)
The atmosphere this track conjures makes me think of Christmas parties. A convincing piece of melancholy pop. It was co-written by new pop star Ellie Goulding according to the hard to decipher writing credits in the booklet.

5. Defender (3 stars)
Starts a bit iffy but turns into something interesting in the middle with military drums.

6. Robots (4 stars)
Silly, but not bad, sci-fi lyrics about love replaced with science and technology. As silly as it is, I consider it to be the most lyrically interesting song on the album. It could have been written for Rush's Grace Under Pressure album.

7. Super Hot (5 stars)
I hear a slight hint of Kate Bush in the vocal mannerisms. Good-time fun pop with a nice effortless feel to it. Really enjoyable. There is also a hint of ABBA to the melody.

8. Boys (4 stars)
Again I can hear echoes of Kate Bush on the higher squealed parts of the vocals. A good song.

9. Invisible Girl (4 stars)
The vocal melody reminds me of Womanizer by Britney Spears. It feels like a minor track but it's stronger than perhaps they expected. The song also features a surprising swear word at the start.

10. Glue (4 stars)
A very 80's sounding power ballad. It would fit perfectly on a power ballad compilation along with Jennifer Rush, Heart, etc.

11. Let Me Know (3 stars)
More "acoustic", "rootsy" song. It doesn't sound like it belongs on this album which is very produced and electronic. Pleasant but unremarkable. Perhaps the weakest song on the album.

12. Superman (4 stars)
Very strong, more stripped down mid-tempo song. Has a sexy vibe but too much repetition of the lyrics does it no favours.

13. Sweet About Me (Twenty Ten Version) (4 stars)
Good beat heavy, more electronic remix of the big hit from her first album. Adds nothing to the album but it's a nice bonus anyway.

I like to make an EP playlist out of some albums for my iPod. Tracks 1, 2, 6 and 7 made the cut.

A very strong 47 minute album and I fully recommend it.

* The other great, recent songs that spring to mind are Kim and Jessie by M83 (pop filtered through shoegazer rock) and Baby Baby Baby by Make The Girl Dance (French language dance music). Perhaps not coincidentally those two and On A Mission all have remarkable music videos?
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on 26 February 2014
Fantastic album. Great songs throughout - no fillers. Lots of favourites to sing along to especially in the car. Great.
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on 21 November 2012
Another great cd from Gabrielle, ease to listen too, play it loud in the car or while dancing round the home
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