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A Good Follow up to Some Lessons Learned but not a Great one,
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This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
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.