I have over 1200 CD albums of all genres (chosen carefully over many years - none of this easy mp3 download while drunk at a bar 'convenience' for me, thank you) yet I have never been compelled to write a review for an album until now.
This album, I used To Be, was released (in UK) almost 8 years ago to the day - but I was completely unaware of it - don't ask me why. I happened on it by accident about 3 months ago - but it took another 6 weeks before it became mine - yes, that last album (complete with a broken case) had been left unsold on Amazon UK for months - perhaps even years.
This is the first time since I was a teenager that I have played an album on repeat more than 6 times. This isn't an album that will necessarily 'grab' everyone instantly - in my opinion there is nothing obviously 'groundbreaking' about it per se. But, what you take from it is subtle and quite beautiful.
There is something seemingly effortless about this album and to my mind, this is the hallmark of a genuine creative talent. There is an honesty within it that you can hear and you can feel. You just know that noting was delivered on a whim.
Gail Ann Dorsey was a singer before she became a session musician. She already released two excellent albums: the Corporate World in 1988 and Rude Blue in 1992. She has played (bass) and sang backing vocals for several musicians - the most well known is perhaps as bassist for David Bowie. Even then, I'm surprised how few people know this.
I'm of the opinion Gail Ann has the kind of voice that will best be appreciated through a quality system. I would defy any lover of excellent music not to recognise there is something unique and exceptionally good about this album.
I won't explain what the album is 'like' as I feel anyone who enjoys excellent music doesn't need the help of excessive marketing: I don't believe a connoisseur is fundamentally taught 'quality'. It is perhaps for this very reason Gail Ann as an excellent and prolific artist in her own right is quietly 'un/known'. She does not want or need to shout "Look at me everyone!!", but this isn't to say she has not the need to work at her art to deliver what we hear. Gail Ann's working history is extensive and quite remarkable: it's as if she wants to share her music with a passion but I don't believe she has ever needed, wanted to, or has been influenced by fame.
I think it's this natural effacement, (to be visible whilst not being visible - if you know what I mean) that allows her as an individual of talent, unspoiled by (excessive/uneducated) media hype and mass band waggon-ing to shine through. I think we have here an example of an artist who's music and audience comes first.
In sum, a brilliant album and highly recommended!!
Gail Ann is 50 today - happy birthday and may we have many more decades of this refreshingly unique grace and talent.
i love what gail has done with david bowie and i wanted to hear what see can do on her own so i got this album. i love the sound on the cd and the songs are just so good, gail puts down some killer bass on the album and see is a very good singer, there is not a bad song on the album and i find myself in a good place when i put this album on.. its beautiful and a lot of fun at the same time ... i hope see will do another album soon..