Gemma Genazzano - Si Me Quieres (If You Love Me) (2009)

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    If you easily dig the adult contemporary slow jams of Sade and Prince's latest protégé, Bria Valente, you may find a resting place in Gemma Genazzano's sensual bedroom jazz. Her erotic vocals, mostly seductive cooing and breathy whispers, filter on a breeze through the bulk of Si Me Quieres (If You Love Me). On this ten-track production, Genazzano lyrically alternates between Spanish verses and English choruses. Of the album's strongest delights, "Talk to Me" stands out with its come-hither bass grooves and gripping ‘70s funk. "Take Me Away" has mixed results; it feels so much like a copy of Sade's "Kiss of Life" it's almost hard to take it seriously. Genazzano also inspirationally plays with Donna Summer's sensual "Love to Love You Baby" midnight magic on the steamy "Way, Way Down." The tight jazz band, led by Joe Scott's piano and Eric Brown's sweetly-paced drums, aptly covers Genazzano's weaknesses.

    If you easily dig the adult contemporary slow jams of Sade and Prince's latest protégé, Bria Valente, you may find a resting place in Gemma Genazzano's sensual bedroom jazz. Her erotic vocals, mostly seductive cooing and breathy whispers, filter on a breeze through the bulk of Si Me Quieres (If You Love Me). On this ten-track production, Genazzano lyrically alternates between Spanish verses and English choruses. Of the album's strongest delights, "Talk to Me" stands out with its come-hither bass grooves and gripping ‘70s funk. "Take Me Away" has mixed results; it feels so much like a copy of Sade's "Kiss of Life" it's almost hard to take it seriously. Genazzano also inspirationally plays with Donna Summer's sensual "Love to Love You Baby" midnight magic on the steamy "Way, Way Down." The tight jazz band, led by Joe Scott's piano and Eric Brown's sweetly-paced drums, aptly covers Genazzano's weaknesses. Sure, she's exotic in her love-exuding, icy deliveries and quite believable in her element, but she lacks the spontaneity and improvisation of a versatile jazz singer. Judging from her performances, it almost feels as if each track is a predictable continuation of the next. But the band, for their great performance and witty musical accomplishments, spare Si Me Quieres from being languid.

    More efforts like this from Genazzano, and even Sade fans - who anxiously awaiting her 2009 return - will limit themselves to craving the real thing. Notable songs: "Talk to Me," "Take Me Away" and "Way, Way Down."  Vocals: 2 stars Lyrics: 2 stars  Music: 3.5 stars  Production: 3 stars  SoulTracks Call: Midly Recommended

    By J. Matthew Cobb

     
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