by / March 11th, 2010 /

Gabriella Cilmi – Ten

 1/5 Rating


In 2008, Aussie poppet Gabriella Cilmi sauntered on to the music scene with her soulful single ‘Sweet Like Me’ – a honey-vocaled, enchanting piece of pop that promised oh-so-great things. But even her gorgeously mature voice couldn’t rectify the lacklustre offerings of her patchy debut. Yes, there are lessons to be learned Gabriella, that being we’d like a little less poorly executed pop and more sensual soul.

Sadly this mediocre follow-up is no better. It starts off quite promising. For the first seventeen seconds, ‘On A Mission’, sounds like it could be great. Ooh, is that a Fischerspooner-inspired electro undercurrent’¦ but then’¦ oh, oh no, it’s like every cheesy, horrible aspect of the ’80s was vomited into one song. Or rather if it was all piled into one song, it might be somewhat bearable but rather unfortunately the cliché manages to spread itself thinly across the following 11 tracks.

Cilmi’s jazz-trained voice deserves better than this formulaic Xenomania-aided nonsense. Despite their reputation as purveyors of catchy pop hits, the Xeno crew seem woefully unable to give poor Gabriella anything decent. Still, part of the blame has to lie with the 18-year-old Melbourne native as she seems proud to mention her co-writing credits.

Perhaps she deserves a nod for her attempt to rhyme as many words as possible with -mission’ in 20 seconds including an incredibly tenuous -trippin’. It’s almost impressive. Other lyrical masterpieces of note include the romantic: “What if we could love each other as robots? What if kisses were ones and zeros? We’d see the world through electric windows,’ as she sings in the curiously metaphor-ed ‘Robots’ with its interesting though slightly bizarre sex-pant, CD-skip ending.
But wait, it’s not all bad and indeed it’s gets a touch better towards the end – the church-bell clanging, rolling electro-pop of ‘Boys’ is kinda memorable – but overall, it’s pretty awkward and dated. However if you weren’t a particularly fussy type, you could certainly let this one play on in the background. Whether or not you’d actually like it much is less certain.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • John

    Xenomania only produced ONE song on the album.

  • yep xenomania only did the one!
    ‘love me cos you want to’ is amazing, i think this is a really good album!

  • Roland

    I’ve come to realise that Irish reviewers all try to be Dave Fanning. Yes only one song is Xenomania. If it was up to the Irish music industry everyone would sound like Damien Rice, Paddy Casey and the infuriating banal Sinead Lohan. this is an exceptional album which arrived just on time for summer. For heavens sake lighten up…it’s fun…it’s pop and she has a writing credit on every song and why has noone reviewed the brilliant itunes bonus track “Sucker For Love”. Empty, uninformed review!

  • KarennBabess’XD

    iiLaLaLaLoveeeee Thisss 🙂 XXXXXX

  • BillyBloo

    What are these people on about? Is the person who reviewed this into pop music at all?! Album of the year for me. It takes a few listens definitely (maybe the reviewer didn’t have enough time before her deadline!) but is an absolute gem. Standouts are Defender, Robots, Love Me Cos You Want To and Let Me Know. I think the album is astonishing, especially for an 18 year old! Her vocals are amazing for someone her age. Her tone etc. are just naturally great but she really knows how to SING properly….and by that I mean interpret a song. I just love this album.

  • Jamesy

    What a rubbish review. I didn’t see a single word I’d agree with.
    Everyone’s comments seem to like the album too.
    Your on your own on this one

  • Jamesy,

    Just out of curiosity… what was rubbish about the review, apart from the fact that you didn’t agree with it?

  • Roland


    I think Jamesy is talking about the fact that the album review is badly researched and incomplete. This is very much Gabriella Cilmi’s baby. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t done their research on her or the credits on the album. She is 100% in control of this album.

  • Roland,

    I’m guessing you’re talking about the Xenomania reference? To be fair, it says they assisted her (which they did – on that one track) and that Cilmi co-wrote the songs. Perhaps it could have been more specific, but it’s still only a small point in the overall scheme of things here.

    I’m getting the impression the discontent expressed in the comments above has more to do with the fact that the review goes against what the folks here think of the album.

    Oh, and Sinead Lohan? Have you been messing about with the Doc’s DeLorean? 😉