Dawn Richard
Goldenheart


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
February 19th, 2013 | 22 replies | 1,910 views


Release Date: 01/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the best examples of why not to underestimate the potential of a former backup singer.

After severing ties with Diddy, whom she was managed by during her run with female pop super group Danity Kane, and directly involved with for the Diddy – Dirty Money collaboration effort, R&B/soul singer Dawn Richard has crafted a debut solo album in which she relies completely on her independent self, but uses the experience and influences she’s gained from her previous music ventures. For an independent album, the production on Goldenheart is of remarkably pristine quality, and feels more lively and technically proficient than the overly-polished sheen of albums from her contemporaries that have a much more costly studio-funding.

Goldenheart is a slick album, with sly synths, and bass beats that alternate from smooth throbs to pulsating booms. The songs strike this interesting middle-ground between balladry and anthematic, which makes the album capable of being a strutting power-house and a reclined nerve-easer at once. Richard shows off her expertise in the dance-pop area, resurrecting the types of club-worthy grooves that were once before born from group effort in Danity Kane, but are done much better here by Richard stand-alone because of her mastery over the genre. She also incorporates the brisk chill of the melodies she boasted when she was one third of Diddy - Dirty Money, giving the album some frost around the edges. Vocal layering is present throughout the album, but Richard doesn’t merely stack layers on top of one another. She proves herself to be quite the talented producer, sorting elements in a way that feels all encompassing, expansive, and gives the impression of vivid depth. The suave synths are never overpowered by the raw percussion, and though Dawn lets her soulful harmonies soar to the rafters and back, she never overdoes it in a way that her voice drowns out the music supporting her that’s there to appreciate.

Goldenheart is one of the most technically impressive R&B albums of the year. All by herself, Dawn achieves more infectious hooks, and uniquely seductive production with a broader range than what most mainstream R&B artists in general can accomplish with the aid of dozens of co-writers and producers. It feels compassionate, earnest, and with PBR&B blowing up with male R&B singers like The Weeknd, Dawn Richard has shown with her debut album that she is overly-qualified to set the standard for independent female R&B artists.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously needed a review.

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Gyromania
February 19th 2013



15200 Comments


After severing ties with Diddy, whom of which she was managed by during


good review, but fix this.

i wish i could write these short reviews but idk how to say everything in under 500 words.

breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright, as soon as you posted that, I just got done making a ton of edits to this
review and extending it by adding in a few new sentences that discuss some things I
forgot to include.

I have to ask though, what's wrong with that sentence? I don't see what I have to
edit about it. Is it a grammar or spelling mistake?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



49801 Comments


This isn't even short

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Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



49801 Comments


That sentence has like past/present and future tense in it I think

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 19th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

anthematic not a word. what is PBR&B?

i will definitely check this out if you're putting it in the same camp as the weeknd

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


Does this actually sound anything like The Weeknd?

Intrigued regardless

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kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 19th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no it doesn't

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


aw

breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Soby PBR&B is the new genre name for "indie R&B". Also, you'll probably like this, it's pretty different from your standard stuff. It's got all these lyrical themes about sci-fi and fantasy shit.

@AnarchistFish I never said in my review that it sounded like The Weeknd. I only brought up The Weeknd in the last sentence because he's the best example of internet based indie R&B singers blowing up, and that Dawn has potential to be the female ringleader. They don't sound alike, sorry if I unintentionally gave that impression.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


If you even mention The Weeknd you have to expect me to cling onto it and jump to illogical conclusions

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 19th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah lol

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


also pbr&b is a really dumb term

breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it's really dumb, but it's apparently official. I only used it because it's easier to have one term to describe something.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 19th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i mean they're basically calling it hipster R&B which is the stupidest thing

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


How is it official? lol

breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, no genre name is really "official", what I meant is a few professional publications use the term, so I guess that makes it a thing idk.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 19th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fuck those publications

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



21576 Comments


I get why you use it I'm just complaining about the term in general. I mean, "post dubstep" is pretty widely used these days in most music publications but it's still a silly term and many don't seem to know what they're talking about a lot of the time

breakingthefragile
February 19th 2013



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amen.



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