Gin Wigmore
Holy Smoke


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
March 11th, 2010 | 182 replies | 13,624 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Looking for something fresh and diverse? Gin’s got just the tonic.

With a voice that slots somewhere in between that of Amy Winehouse and Macy Gray, 23 year old blonde bombshell Virginia ‘Gin’ Wigmore is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The sultry, heavily tattooed New Zealand born singer-songwriter owns a unique and distinctive rasp which is certain to have some listeners pressing the “stop” button before the first track has even finished. The patient among us however, will be rewarded with what is ultimately a fresh and diverse album that belies its debut LP status.

The secret to the success of ‘Holy Smoke’ is in the description of it as “diverse”. While most releases broadly classified as soul-pop/nu-soul tend to only switch between two paces, Gin has crafted an album which dips its toes in multiple genres. This may sound like a bold experiment that is destined to fail, but Ms. Wigmore pulls it off with strength and confidence due to the company she has surrounded herself with. First is the choice of American producer and co-writer Mike Elizondo, who usually specializes in hip-hop. This is the same man who co-wrote Eminem’s ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and 50 Cent’s smash hit ‘In Da Club’. No, Gin never raps on ‘Holy Smoke’, but Elizondo’s presence gives the album a fresh, multi-faceted feel that cannot be under-estimated.

Even more integral to the success of ‘Holy Smoke’ is the existence of Ryan Adams’ former backing band; The Cardinals. Tight and efficient, the quartet effortlessly guide Wigmore through an assortment of musical styles. From the piano-bashing swaggering rock number ‘Mr, Freakshow’ to the laidback Jason Mraz like ‘I Do’, and from the catchy 1950’s rock-and-roller ‘One Last Look’ to the emotional closing ballad, these are experts at work. Even those tracks closest to filler have something to like about them (see the way in which ‘New Revolution’ builds up to a raucous guitar chord before assuredly falling back in volume), while semi-theatrical hooks such as the use of trumpets on 3rd single ‘Hey Ho’, horns on the likeable ‘Don’t Stop’ and strings on ‘Too Late For Lovers’, also come up trumps.

Elizondo and The Cardinals may be key components to the success of ‘Holy Smoke’, but to ignore the actual artist in question would be borderline criminal. Writing or co-writing all tracks on the LP, Gin Wigmore never allows her songs to fall into cliché or melodrama, while providing an impressive balance of accessible melodies and stirring soul. ‘Holy Smoke’ may be far from perfect since in providing the aforementioned variety, Wigmore is still searching for her perfect sound to elevate songs to the status of memorable. However, when considering this is a debut by such a young and unique artist, the talent is clear to be seen and her future should indeed be bright.

Recommended Tracks: Oh My, One Last Look, I Do & Don’t Stop.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.7
great
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David James Young (4)
One of the year's biggest growers, Gin is certain to charm her way into many an eardrum with her sen...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“Gin’s got just the tonic”. Get it, get it, get it?

Album is getting a U.S release on Tuesday the 16th.


Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


Man I remember when this came out last year

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deviant, I know your cricket team keeps losing, but it's very un-kiwi of you not to have already rated this album...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


She's not my cup of tonic Davey. Don't get me started on the cricket mate

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

(a) Broaden your musical horizons.

(b) Go on, start on the cricket...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


(a) My horizons can only stretch so far

(b) Not the time or the place for my ranting

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're no fun.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


Davey: Yeah the 3rd ODI, didn't manage to catch the 4th. Heard Ponting and Cameron put on a good show though, lucky trophy stealing bastards

Kinda funny how both the contribs for the NZ artist page are both aussies

Eclectic
March 11th 2010



3302 Comments


I have this, I just gotta listen to it. "Dying Day" came up on shuffle and I loved that though, so I expect this'll be around the 4 range.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorta like how the common definition oif sick is not sick & bad is good.

Yeah Deviant, it is kinda funny.... But you know that we steal all of your most talented people. From memory, I think she bases herself in Sydney now anyway. Wouldn't be WellyWood. LOL.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I have this, I just gotta listen to it. "Dying Day" came up on shuffle and I loved that though"

I actually think that she still has a lot of work to do on her ballads. 'I Do' works because it's rather different and has more of that Jack Johnson/Jason Mraz feel, but the final 2 songs are good in the moment without being very memorable. She is definitely at her best when performing louder & faster songs.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


Wouldn't be WellyWood. LOL.


Ugh, don't think that's going ahead now. Admiral Jackson wanted to be made in the image of the Hollywood sign, don't think he's realised that that is a trademarked image. Thank god, because I would've been able to see it from my house.

But you know that we steal all of your most talented people


You took Russell Crowe, keep him

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hell, I didn't know it was trademarked image. But had to have a giggle when I heard it on the news this morning. Legal action gone crazy; instalment number 542,369

AtavanHalen
March 11th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah cool

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


Excerpts from an interview with our Wellington mayor:

Kerry (Mayor): "It'll be so nice for everyone to fly into Wellington city and see that sign greet them"
Interviewer: "What, you mean everyone on the left hand side of the plane?"

Kerry: "It's such a lovely, vibrant, and wholly original idea for the city"
Interviewer: "Stealing an idea from another city? You are aware that there are Facebook groups dedicated to this not happening?"

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hi DavID. You know I'm always about 6 months behind you mate.

LOL Deviant. Sounds like Mayor Quimby is alive & well in windy Wellington.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



31053 Comments


http://publicaddress.net/6514#post6514

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha. Nothing like a German accent to make a stupid idea seem even stupider.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Silly Americans don't know how to spell. It's G'day mate.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, but you may not think I am if I were to write a metal review. It would go something like this: I can't understand what the singer is screaming & how can anyone find a melody with all that noise?

But who knows; Maybe one day.



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