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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Track-by-Track: Gabriella Cilmi - Ten

I love a good pop album, even though (more often than not) they're known for being pretty uneven. Working with a hoard of producers almost guarantees a somewhat disjointed album, but luckily on Gabriella Cilmi's second release the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.

1. On A Mission - One of the best singles released so far this year, this is a heady brew of 80's synths, girl-power rock and "Oh Mickey" style chants. The album version's even better than the single. Pure cheese, but flawlessly done. 10/10

2. Hearts Don't Lie - The one Xenomania track on the album, and hyped because of it. It's got a funky sound let down just a tiny bit by the chorus. It's still completely single-worthy. 9/10

3. What If You Knew - Floating on a bed of dramatic, swooping synths, this simple melody becomes quite addicting. It's at this point that it's clear that Cilmi has fully committed to her new pop sound. Her gritty voice fits this perfectly. 9/10

4. Love Me Cos You Want To - Another epic pop song. The verses, especially have a classic melancholy disco sound to them. It's the type of single Kylie would die for, and she'd be lucky to have it. The production is stunning. 10/10

5. Defender - The first dip in album quality. It's a sleepy ballad enhanced a bit by some nice military-sounding drums. The melody's too repetitive without much payoff. 6/10

6. Robots - Back to the fun pop sound of the earlier tracks. The chorus here is especially nice, both melodically and lyrically. There are parts when she's using falsetto that sound eerily like a young Janet Jackson. 9/10

7. Superhot - Here's where everything comes together. The frantic, funky verses, the theatrical bridge, and the pop-til-you-drop chorus. It's the album's centerpiece, and rightfully so. 10/10

8. Boys - A slightly more subdued dance track with a great chorus where Cilmi comes close to yodeling. Not one of the best tracks, but certainly an interesting and catchy departure. 8/10

9. Invisible Girl - A little noisy without a real memorable melody, this has a more urban feel to it that suits Cilmi's voice but isn't as successful as it should be. 7/10

10. Glue - The second track on the album that could be considered more of a ballad, this is heaps better than Defender. Still not the strongest song, but it at least has a sense of urgency to it. 8/10

11. Let Me Know - A funky singalong that feels too old-fashioned beside the rest of the tracks. It's indicative of how the last portion of the album plays it a little safe and is less interesting because of it. 7/10

12. Superman - Hearkens back to the sound of the first album. It's pleasant, but not particularly memorable. I do like the laid-back sound of her voice, though. 7/10

13. Sweet About Me (Twenty Ten Version) - Back to the pop sound of the first half, as this hit single (from her first album) is electro-ized. It works surprisingly well, though I feel like this song could work well in any genre. 9/10

Album Grade: 8.4/10

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3 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

brilliant write up :) I shall now just link to you in today's blog post rather than write my own review :P I think Hearts Don't Lie IS the second single, but Superhot absolutely has to be single three. Absolutely brilliant!

PS my Salem album arrived today :P WEEEEEEEE!
PPS have you checked out TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow? (book)

4:02 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Never heard of TimeRiders. I'll have to look it up :)

How do you like the Salem album?

10:01 AM  
Blogger alex scarrow said...

Hey Paul, thanks for mentioning TimeRiders! I can thoroughly reccomend it Nick (although I'm somewhat biased)

Here's a link to the trailer, perhaps that'll convince you?

http://www.time-riders.co.uk/

all the best

Alex Scarrow (author)

7:15 AM  

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