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Review Rewind – Gabrielle: Find Your Way

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on May 28, 2008

Albums you might have missed, but aren’t too late to check out

If ever there were a transition year for popular music, That’s My Jam’s nominee would be 1993. R&B saw new jack swing was on its way out, giving way to more sexual lyrics and hip-hop-based beats; pop’s paths took its listeners to street-oriented or dance-inspired directions; and dance itself got deeper, harder and darker as it avoided the mainstream, opting instead for a home in the underground.

Somewhere during all of this ― or perhaps because of it ― Gabrielle released Find Your Way and found chart success with the uplifting lead single, “Dreams,” a song that could easily be categorized as dance, pop or R&B. The singer’s debut album is full of equally song-y material that fully walks the line between the three genres while still managing to present a unique approach to each.

The set’s opener, “Going Nowhere,” is a powerful and passionately delivered declaration of Gabrielle’s devotion to her partner. The uptempo track perfectly accompanies Gabrielle’s voice through her pleas, promises and commands. It’s unclear whether the subject of that song is the same person she sings to in “Find Your Way,” but her convincing celebration of the return of her destined lover is well-composed in this “mysterious” track, which utilizes Middle Eastern flair that’s punctuated with a Celine Dion-esque melody.

In the Bohemian number “Second Chance,” Gabrielle further demonstrates her desire to be loyal to her lover, stating, “If you asked me back, baby, I’d say yes.” Musically, this cut could be mistaken for having been crafted when the likes of P.M. Dawn and Caron Wheeler had a presence on the charts. Equally hypnotic, and rightfully so, is “I Wish,” a whimsical ditty about a crush that’s almost sung like an entry from a schoolgirl’s diary. Not too far from that topic is “Because of You,” which is heavily dependent on acoustics and strings to guide Gabrielle through her explanations of how love influences the way she acts.

The CD seems short, and not just because so many songs address the same ideas (loyalty, devotion and a clarification of relationship status). No, the 10-song disc flies by because it is an enjoyable treat compared to many releases of its day and so many that followed it. It achieved a rare feat of blending R&B and pop vocals, definitively pop melodies, and dance tempos, as well as taking listeners through the enjoyable journey that was Gabrielle’s debut.

Track List:
1. “Going Nowhere”
2. “Who Could Love You More”
3. “Find Your Way”
4. “I Wanna Know”
5. “Dreams”
6. “I Wish”
7. “We Don’t Talk”
8. “Second Chance”
9. “Say What You Gotta Say”
10. “Because of You”

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