Gabriella Cilmi
Lessons to Be Learned


3.0
good

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
July 16th, 2008 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With an excellent blend of pop rock, jazz, blues and soul, Lessons to Be Learned is fun, engaging and wonderful listen from an upcoming star, whose vocal techniques are simply wonderful.

There seems to be a new trend in music lately. No it isn’t metalcore, nor is it rehab centres, it’s the adaptation of female vocalists with a soulful rasp in their voice. To name a few, Duffy, Adele, Amy Winehouse, who all dwell within the British Isles. It seems that both the accent and location are a hot spot for these new stars, minus Winehouse who were are all well aware of. However, coming out of Australia’s city, Melbourne has been a rising star, who hit the ground running at a much younger age than her British counterparts. Gabriella Cilmi at the modest age of sixteen has both the soulful unique voice and teen rock style associated with the other mentioned acts – but what sets her apart? Not much really, other than being of a different origin and age. Despite she has an infectious vocal range, and style, reminiscent of a fashionable cross between Macy Gray and at times Anastacia, she and her debut lacked the punch needed to slingshot into the charts within the United States.

Still, the release is amazingly well defined and produced, which will certainly give her the needed foundations to further her career. Part of the fun loving approach is due to song-writers Miranda Cooper and Brian Higgins, notably recognised for their efforts in the Xenomania production company. While the team have made a few misses over the past amongst major success with artists such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Kylie Minogue, undoubtedly they have both provided with Cilmi a good point of song-writing style and approach that she can take on with her in the future projects. Together the group mix a good blend of Australian blues rock, jazz, soul and blues elements that make for an appealing listen, one that gives radio airplay something different to turn to after having being swamped with sugar candy pop and R & B from the Montana franchise.

The collection begins with the rocking out track “Save the Lies,” which is somewhat of a bland atypical introduction, but a good place to introduce her vocal style. Certainly the next tune ”Sweet About Me,” is one of the best songs released by an Australian artist on debut. A lot of songs focus on the chorus as the returning point for the listener’s attention, but Sweet About Me dumps that for a well rounded mix of brilliant singing and layered pop production on all levels. It doesn’t stop there either. The album heralds a marvellous group of both enjoyable and fantastic songs such as the ballads “Sanctuary and “Einstein,” evocative of Midnight Oil’s ventures into slower territory. Then there’s the second single, “Got No Place to Go” which succeeds in making a good teen rock track for the younger generation to bop to with a very clever use of Cilmi’s range and spontaneous rhythm.

While her vocals make the album, they still don’t save it from moments of monotony. It is indeed hard to keep the energy and rhythm on any album the whole way through, but nevertheless the latter half makes up the untimely mid-point with the soulful ballad “Safer,” and the later blues voyage “Sit in the Blues,” which concludes the release much better then how it began initially. At the end of the listen, you’re probably still wondering how someone so young could possibly have such a matured sounding voice… Sometimes questions go without answers, but for the moment, Cilmi, her voice and contract have a long way to go. While she’s been overshadowed by the timely debut releases of Adele and Duffy, who offer a similar type of sound, she’s still worth the listen if your willing to appreciate she’s within her musical infancy, and has done pretty well for herself, despite not having received the commercial acclaim. But there’s always the second album isn’t there?



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 16th 2008


15982 Comments


Hey, I stopped after the first paragraph, but it was a hard read. Maybe some more proof reading before posting?This Message Edited On 07.16.08

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

taylormemer
July 16th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Probably one of the hardest review's I've done. I know what you mean though. Not much I'd be willing to do to radically change it. Let's just say, I could have done better I suppose. I don't really think it's a proof reading problem, more likely a lack of self confidence while writing problem maybe... dunno.

Willie
Moderator
July 16th 2008


15982 Comments


There's no reason to lack self confidence. You can tell that the ideas are there and that they're formed well in your head. It's just the wording could be better. I think if you read through it once or twice you'd pick up some easy things. I don't think it needs a radical change at all.

badtaste
July 16th 2008


824 Comments


I thought it read easy. Get the commas outside those quotation marks though.

I've only heard "Sweet about me", and I found it annoyingly repetitive (haha, I actually thought the chorus was over abused). It might be the inner cynic in me but I think Cilmi is quite generic.

Iai
Emeritus
July 16th 2008


3553 Comments


I've got to admit I do really like "Sweet About Me".

TheStarclassicTreatment
July 16th 2008


2910 Comments


I'm gonna get this. I hate Winehouse, Duffy and Adele but she owns them all. She has a pretty good band behind her too.

BallsToTheWall
July 16th 2008


44410 Comments


I missed this, nice review. Sounds cool so i'll check out the single and see if I want to acquire it.

Digging: She Past Away - Belirdi Gece

taylormemer
July 17th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^^
You can't go wrong with both the single, and Got No Place to Go as well.

Jim
July 17th 2008


5110 Comments


tbh sweet about me is pretty awesome.
she hails from about 20 minutes from where i live

taylormemer
July 17th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Hails... as in hails for the bus? :p Lucky you.

Jim
July 17th 2008


5110 Comments


she can hail for me any day ;)
when she's legal age :/

taylormemer
July 17th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Amen

DemandMore
July 17th 2008


18 Comments


I liked Sweet About Me quite a bit, though I'm not sure if I could handle a whole album of similar sounding stuff.

Djnx
July 17th 2008


85 Comments


The review left me with an impression of a 2.5 or a 3.0. Maybe I will download it.

taylormemer
July 18th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^^
I'd have to say you're probably right there. Thankyou for alerting me to this.

Vooligan
November 11th 2008


3541 Comments


was surprised that i liked this

Zip
December 24th 2009


5312 Comments


actually digging this

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Quite the debut for a 16 year-old… It’s really difficult to get past that fact actually. If this album was made by a veteran, it would be viewed as average. Cilmi sounds mature & confident, even if the album doesn’t quite hold up until the very end. There is sufficient variety with her raspy & soulful voice occasionally delving into a bluesier feel, while the album highlights (Sweet About Me, Save The Lies & Got No Place To Go) have a keen ear for a poppy hook. It would have been better had this not been released after Duffy & Adele though.

AtavanHalen
March 22nd 2010


17927 Comments


Yeah. Nah.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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