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Lessons to Be Learned

Aussie Gabriella Cilmi is the latest imported pop/soul stylist.

Young in age and big in pipes, 17-year-old Aussie Gabriella Cilmi is the latest imported pop/soul stylist (think Adele, Duffy, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse) to take her musical cues from iconic American acts like the Supremes and the Ronettes. On her energetic U.S. debut, Cilmi adds some Swinging London beats into the mix, and though the throwback vibe might be a tad trendy, she often hits the mark. Both 'Awkward Game' and 'Einstein' are atmospheric and bluesy, while the single 'Sweet About Me' is souped-up girl group a-go-go. There’s no denying Cilmi has the singing and songwriting chops; what’s missing is the emotional depth and maturity that come with the sonic landscape she attempts to mine. Lessons To Be Learned is aptly named, because it features moments when Cilmi comes off like a kid trying on her mother’s clothes.

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