Thursday, 12 February 2009

Gina Green - My Journey

Another quality independent CD to grace us this year is Gina Green’s “My Journey”. Musically this is mostly reliant on programmed beats and synths, but vocally is where the power lies. On a number of tracks Gina sounds like Marva King, and on others a little like Stephanie Mills. The title track actually kicks of the CD very strongly; I was instantly hooked on this track and have been disposed to play it a lot. This track should feature heavily on radio rotation should there be any justice. Its loose Mary Jane Girls’ “All Night Long” type beats and 80s styled dreamy keys is a perfect match for Gina’s exquisite vocal performanceThe heavy piano-led “Dreamin’” again reminds me of Marva King, think of the vocals employed on “Lovely” from the essential “Soul Sistah” CD then you’re in the right sort of area. Gina doesn’t have – or so I imagine – the 5 octave range that Marva has, but her sensuality and sexiness certainly keeps up in the running. Equally attractive is the India.Arie-ish “You’re Like The Sun” – the acoustic guitar is tied nicely to some spacey, cosmic keyboards and the downtempo hip-hop styled beats are also affective.

The outright winner for me personally is the tantalisingly seductive rhythm and keys of “True Love”. I hear a great influence here by the likes of Stephanie Mills here, and I have to say that the song would not have been out of place on a Richard Searling Red Rose Radio show from the late 80s. It really is that good! The keys are very 80s indeed and the beats steady and unmovable…very Spartan and stripped bare, maybe, but Gina Green pours her sexiness and sass over this and creates a real meltdown. Check this track out as you will NOT be disappointed.A shot of smoky jazz is injected into “My Journey” with a formidable standing bassline and insistent beat, bluesy guitar and echoey timer which act as a foil to the more lose, jazzy approach that the vocalist adopts here. Again, Marva King springs to mind. “Listen To My Heart” is a personal piece and Gina explains how she uses music to express herself. Okay, some indie artists, unfettered by the major label can be very self-indulgent and dare I say – selfish – in their approach, almost to the point of excluding the listener! Not so here. It reminds me that this artist is – thankfully – free of commercial restraint and can actually do what she wants, and that is to be ARTISTIC. We tend to forget that music is art, and if the artist themselves cannot reflect then what are they actually portraying? I definitely invite you to take a closer listen to this lady, and join her on this leg, at least of her journey.

Barry Towler

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