Archive for melodramatic pop

Fools and Orphans~Ninthspace album review

Posted in Fools & Orphans, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by Sister Cleophas

Jo Gabriel: Fools and Orphans

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There are moments in Bulldozer, the opening song from Jo Gabriel’s new album, when Stephanie Rearick’s trumpet heralds the words ‘why should I love you’. These brief but beautiful events mark the most striking difference between this album and its more elaborate (if not immediate) predecessor IslandFools and Orphansdraws away from traditional arrangements to let the songs breathe, and in doing so allows Jo to continue distinguishing herself from the current ’..and piano’ crowd (I like Emm Gryner’s term ‘contemporary nonsensery.’) Few artists have the ability or opportunity to be this daring (mostly down to record label pressures, no doubt) and this successful. Fools and Orphans shines from its own darkness.Kristin Hersh’s The Grotto was an album born out of loss and the resulting reflection on life and relationships. Fools and Orphans is different – its main theme is also loss, but barely offers sanctuary. The Grotto tears me apart and then rebuilds me; Fools and Orphans does the former then leaves a lingering sadness, although it’s more compelling as a result. The open arrangements, often rhythmically fluid and spontaneous are charmingly beautiful and ideal for such stories. It’s up to us to fill in the blanks, to empathise and to draw comparisons with our own lives. Continue reading

various review excerpts~Island, The Unreachable Sky!

Posted in Island with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2005 by Sister Cleophas

“New York native Jo Gabriel produces dark, moody and mystical songs pulsating with brilliant harmonies and full of rough edges. For fans of romantic wave-pop, paired with piano – “Island” reminds of 4AD’s This Mortal Coil with its innate sense of strength and warmth.” (Darklight Nocturnal Entertainment review of Island)

“It is first Jo’s voice that drives shivers through you.” “She’s like the musical miracle of Kate Bush, or Tori Amos”. “Her piano is dreamy and opulent and always in harmony.” ’A touch of Romantic Dark Wave that strokes the soul”. (Amboss Magazine review of Island)

“Jo’s piano playing is absolutely stunning, rich and passionate…the delicate quality of her supple, multi-octave voice glimmers with fragility and emotion throughout…” musicaldiscoveries.com

“Gabriel’s a masterful pianist and her tunes are haunting.” Collective Sounds

Island-“This truly stunning album features the impassioned, distinctive voice of Jo Gabriel against a very moving backdrop of piano and cello. Jo Gabriel is an artist of great talents, making music that is individual, sophisticated, beautiful, and haunting!” Bliss Aquamarine (UK)

“…All the songs have a kind of explosive gentleness where you become pulled through has a strength that shines through and creates a melancholy dreamy sound…”(Blacklight Magazine)

“…This unusually intense and impressive artist, connects the innocently dreamed voice and piano of Tori Amos with the atmospheric best of 4AD… This exceptional artist tells stories, fascinating and ever so fragile; full of emotion…This album is, like the label it describes, indeed heart warming and has unusual songs of full emotion…”( Oblivion Magazine )2005
“Jo Gabriel creates music, dark, tendencyful and mystische tones, which all listeners who love Kate Bush and Loreena McKennitt will be brought into its spell.”(Melting Close Magazine)2005
“Although there is a feeling of seperateness and reverie, this contemplative voice works like a lost dream. But the underlying melancholy of Island is never really sad.Rather it is amazing that this fragile music can cause so many emotions. The pervasive piano is for daydreaming where one’s thoughts can run free.” (Der Medien Konverter,2005)
“Jo Gabriel lies somewhere between Tori Amos and Kate Bush. A little more harmoniously than Mrs. Amos and more dreamy like Mrs. Bush. Musical also a certain proximity would be to be discovered to Loreena McKennitt. Something special at this plate is natural on the one hand this unbelievable great voice, but not only this voice.”( Astan Magazine, 2005)
“Beautiful, fluid melodies conspire with clean production, and the result is music that sneaks into the recesses of the mind–ethereal, yet catchy as hell. But at its core this is mournful music, full of questions and muted unease. And the delicate quality of Ms. Gabriel’s supple, multi-octave voice glimmers with fragility and emotion throughout.” Hannah Fury 2005
 Review of The Unreachable Sky 2003

“… Jo Gabriel’s new album is mostly piano instrumentals, but has some vocal tracks as well. There’s enough tension to ensure the instrumental tracks are brilliant. Gabriel’s a masterful pianist and her tunes are haunting …”(Anna Maria Stjärnell, Collected Sounds-2003)