11:22 AM 24th February 2021
Gabrielle - New Album: Do It Again (BMG Records)
If you are from a certain generation then the name Gabrielle will take you back to the summer of 1993 when the singer had a worldwide hit with 'Dreams'.
For the newcomers to Gabrielle her appearances on the ITV show, The Masked Singer
will probably be your first introduction to the British singer. The power of television can do wonders to revive a career - if you don’t go on Strictly Come Dancing
or I’m A Celebrity
then if you can sing, The Masked Singer
can kick start a revival and introduce you to a whole new audience.
Of the 12 songs on the album there are two new tracks that unlike the other tracks are not covers. The two times BRIT award singer says that she was having fun whilst making the record, which comes across in the recordings.
For instance her version of 'Proud Mary' cannot compete with the stellar version that Tina Turner recorded, by no means is it meant to - it would be like comparing a Bentley to a Ford.
Elsewhere her version of 'Killing Me Softly With His Song' is more Roberta Flack than The Fugees. In fact Gabrielle’s voice seems here to have become more husky over the years sounding particularly on this opening track more like Macy Gray.
Some tracks work better than others: the cover of Billie Eilish’s 'Everything I Wanted' sounds like it was written for Gabrielle, her voice suits the track on a interpretation that gives the song a new dimension. The same magic works again on 'Falling'. If you are familiar with the Harry Style’s original you might concede that the version here is better than the one sung by the former One Direction star.
Of the two original tracks, 'Stop Right Now', already released as a single is pleasant enough and is the type of song you would expect Radio 2 to endorse, whilst 'Can’t Hurry Love' sounds like a track that should have been on the new Paloma Faith album - not surprising as the album was produced, mixed and mastered by Ian Barter who has worked with Faith and also Amy Winehouse.
'Smile' has been recorded by numerous artists over the years from Nat King Cole to Michael Jackson, here Gabrielle sings a jazzy, smouldering version again that suits her voice.
Bringing things more up to date her version of Rihanna’s 'Diamonds' is not as dramatic or epic as the original instead a softer approach suits her delivery of the track.
The Jacksons 'I’ll Be There' is turned upside down as a more acoustic version strips the song bare, whilst still keeping the soulful intent of the song intact.
It only leaves her version of Tracy Chapman’s 'Fast Car' to conclude the album. Almost identical to the original version it adds nothing new, like most of the album it feels comfortable like putting on an old pair of slippers, though it sounds here like Gabrielle is a long way off putting her feet up yet.
I rate the album 3 out of 5.