CD Even Closer [Bonus Track] (CD 759995),
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Even Closer [Bonus Track]
2. Ease Your Mind
3. Got It
5. Too Much the Same
7. Daze, The
8. Thing's Don't Exist
9. Childhood Drama
11. Back to You
13. It Takes More
14. Red White & Blues
15. Childhood Drama - (Remix, remix)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 72795
Goapele: Goapele Mohlabane (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Pep Love, Zion I, Casual (rap vocals);
Eric Krasno (guitar); Neal Evans (Hammond B-3 organ); Alan Evans (drums).
Producers include: Amp Live, Soulive, Goapele, Eric Krasno, Sun Moon.
Personnel: Mike Tiger (guitar, keyboards, mini-Moog synthesizer); Eric Krasno (guitar); Nate Greenberg (saxophone); James Hurt (keyboards); Brian Collier, Charles Haines, Josh Jones, Alan Evans (drums).
Audio Mixers: John Shrive; J.J. Johnson ; Nate Greenberg.
Recording information: Amps House, Oakland, CA; Chung King, New York, NY; FM Studios, Oakland, CA; Hyde Record Studios, San Francisco, CA; Son Moon Studio, Boston, MA; Sparks Studio, Emeryville, CA; The Hole, San Francisco, CA.
Even Closer is a reworked version of Goapele's limited release debut, Closer, with five additional songs: "Ease Your Mind" (featuring Pep Love), "Got It," "The Daze" (featuring Zion I and Casual), "Back to You," and "Red, White & Blues" (an anti-war song featuring a blistering guitar solo by Errol Cooney). It showcases Goapele's sultry, cascading voice with relatively sparse vocal arrangements and the contributions of producers such as Amp Live, Jeff Bhasker, Eric Krasno, and Mike Tiger, who help create a smooth, tasty mixture of soul, hip-hop, jazz, and occasional touches of other styles. Goapele navigates this potpourri quite adeptly, although the album does tread a thin line between appealingly eclectic and insufficiently cohesive; fortunately, she has enough talent, including a sufficiently distinctive vocal personality, to pull it off. The words tend toward lyrical and enigmatic, but occasionally they are effectively straightforward and to the point (e.g., "'Cause you're so f**k'n romantic/I can't stand it" from "Romantic"); Goapele also manages to tackle social/political issues without getting too preachy. However, some may wish her social protest lyrics were less vague and more incisive; also, the album isn't replete with clever wordplay and the rhymes tend to be conventional combinations such as "friend"/"end" and "same"/"blame." Nonetheless, this album is worth a listen if you enjoy contemporary soul. ~ Todd Kristel
Rolling Stone (6/26/03, p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A balance of steamrolling Chaka Khan power and yoga-girl suppleness that's full of promise..."
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