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Lessons To Be Learned

Lessons To Be Learned by Gabriella Cilmi
Released: Mar 2009
Label: Universal
The first half of Gabriella Cilmi's debut gives the impression that she's yet another retro soul singer, albeit a decent one. But then, Cilmi suddenly switches gears, abandoning saucy soul chanteuse for sassy disco diva on "Save the Lies." The change suits her throaty vocals, which sound more like a young Patti LaBelle than an Adele also-ran. But just when you're dusting off your best hustle, Cilmi pulls the rug out from under you again, zipping through a dizzying range of styles, some of which ("Terrifying"'s country rock) work better than others ("Safer"'s piano-driven drama).
Rachel Devitt

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