The Magic Whip
Aussie teen swaps easy listening for Xenomania-produced future-pop.
Gabriella Cilmi’s hit Sweet About Me is a song that feels as if it has been around forever, it is the kind of light jazz-tinged pop that crosses genres, radio playlists and ages to appeal to just about everyone from Grandmas to toddlers. As is the way with such omnipresent pop standards it’s also potentially a curse; whatever she does she will never escape it.
Clearly the object of this album is to prove that there is more to Gabriella Cilmi than nice jazz-tinged pop. Ten could not be more different. A supercharged, knowingly camp, hyper-pop album it pulls no punches in aligning itself solidly behind the 80s sound du jour.
On A Mission includes every 80s cliché imaginable from Joe Jackson piano hook to Kim Wilde Kids In America style woo-ohs to Final Countdown synth stabs. It is the kind of song ex-members of S Club 7 still probably fantasise about releasing as their comeback single.
The rest of the album isn’t too shabby either. Hearts Don’t Lie is funky-electro that could kick start roller-disco revival on its own. Love Me Cos You Want To is a majestic Donna Summer-esque sing-along, while Superhot and Let me Know demonstrate pipes as powerful as Tina Turner.
A couple of ballads let it down as well as - horror of horrors - a totally unnecessary remix of Sweet About Me.