Album Watch: Goapele Delivers On 'Break Of Dawn'

Monday, October 31, 2011

I have been under the weather this past week (note my week-long absence from the blog), but one thing that's always good medicine is new music and especially new music from Goapele.

For four years Goapele has kept us at a cliff hanger this side of a prime-time drama with her last record, 2005's Change It All. Like a distant lover she egged on the possibly of a third effort with the first seduction "Milk & Honey" and then for two years she kept the anticipation afloat till she dropped  "Play" in all of it's wonderfulness. Both tracks dropped big hints that Break Of Dawn was to be a real sexual and personal healing---and is it ever.

Openness is the spice to creativity, it's what brings an art form to life and without it falsity tends to worm it way through. Goapele has always been open and honest, yet this time she puts herself fully under a microscope and really lays it all out. Even with the assemblage of co-writers and producers (Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Drumma Boy, Malay, Bedrock---to name a few) there is a more personal touch to this than previously heard on her past releases. Confessional she is on yearning stews like "Undertow" and the fluid classic soul recall on "Tears On My Pillow" which really put her rich vocal stylings on display. Even the lullaby of "Hush" is personal on the level that it's dedicated to her four-year-old daughter. Yet, Goapele really sparkles when the beat is taken up a notch, as on the spirited title track, and "Money" which is the most grooving bass happy song you'll hear about not putting a price on love.

Though condensed as Break Of Dawn may be (only nine tracks!) and a few sags here and there (attention on the clunky "Right Here"), it's brevity and small moments of uninspired errors doesn't mar the listening experience. As Goapele coos, that she just wants to 'play', you too will do the same, as you'll play this again and again without so much as a fuss. Check after the cut for more reasons to 'play' as Goapele puts her live thing on "Tears On My Pillow" and Rufus & Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing".


Break Of Dawn

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