CD REVIEW: Gina Longo - Early Girl
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/06/2012 - 03:20 PM EST
Artist: Gina Longo
Album: Early Girl
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Americana rock
Sounds Like: Cheryl Crow, Bonnie Rait, Janis Joplin and even Jos Stone, Natalie Merchant
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Never Try to Change You, You Leave Me, Somebody Saved Me
Weakness: A few Winded Songs
Santa Monica based Singer/Songwriter Gina Longo was the only white artist to sign with Death Row Records. Let’s just say the upper level management must have been quite impressed with her technical abilities. I guess all of us should be impressed with this last blurb right? Regardless Longo has resurfaced releasing her latest effort entitled Early Girl in 2012.
The CD quickly takes flight with “Spy Song” the perfect rocking intro groove that serves inviting vocals against slamming Americana-Rock fretwork, full-tilt rhythm section and mesmerizing vocal front from Longo. Track 2 “You Leave Me” presents a grooving follow-up that serves up slamming rock rhythm, rich melody against a grand slam chorus. This piece flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up statement. Track 3 “Never Try to Change You” my personal favorite serves up a rocking ditty with impressive vibe, well placed R&B guitar licks, meshed against hypnotic vocal groove from Longo. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear the musicianship from everyone involved is clearly above the bar with impressive bass lines, slamming R&B-esque type guitar and solos, well placed strings, piano, harmonica, impressive vocal harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Song for song the effective combination of Longo’s voice, world class songwriting and top flight musicianship it’s never called into question. Now turning our attention over to Longo. As for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive indeed. Her musical/vocal style is cut from the cloth of Cheryl Crow, Bonnie Rait, Janis Joplin and even Jos Stone or Natalie Merchant - but I will add she can go toe to toe with any one of them vocally. Longo showcases a crystal clear vibrato, with an appealing mezzo-soprano persona. All of this makes for a strong and confident vocal ability across the board. I really could listen to her sing all day – and I rarely say stuff like that. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This latest CD from Longo delivers 13 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating. From heartfelt “Fade in the Night” and Somebody Saved Me” to grooving “Tangled up” and slamming “Drunk” to infectious “Stand Up” to jazzy Easy Money” The CD ends with Track 11 “Forever We Change” the perfect wrap for a catalog like this.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
I like everything about Gina Longo. She's truly an infectious artist that possesses a "Gold Standard" voice, look, songwriting, appeal, talent, vocal passion and overall artistic presence. She also is a very impressive songwriter and singer. From start to finish “Early Girl” is an impressive catalog of music. The music is warm, marketable, uplifting and very passionate. The pin drop moments are amazing, and her falsetto could launch a thousands ships. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist from Santa Monica that has the courage to not give up on her dreams throughout the tears and the years. Make no bones about it - this gal has got some fight in her and she possesses heart and soul. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalog is extremely likeable very much like the artist herself. Looks like Suge Knight was spot on.
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