Giovanca - While I’m Awake (2011)

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    Within the beauty and excitement of songwriting, there are no limits to what comes out of one's deepest thoughts and observations.  When the pen hits the paper and the spirit moves inside, inspirations can come at any time and any place.  While riding the subways, Giovanca carried her notebook capturing all her experiences in creating her debut, Subway Silence.  The music spun a positive, upbeat soul/pop hybrid that spanned several decades of influences - from Dionne Warwick to Motown to Corrine Bailey Rae.  For her second release, While I'm Awake, the Dutch singer/songwriter invested the time writing material during lengthy periods of insomnia. 

    Within the beauty and excitement of songwriting, there are no limits to what comes out of one's deepest thoughts and observations.  When the pen hits the paper and the spirit moves inside, inspirations can come at any time and any place.  While riding the subways, Giovanca carried her notebook capturing all her experiences in creating her debut, Subway Silence.  The music spun a positive, upbeat soul/pop hybrid that spanned several decades of influences - from Dionne Warwick to Motown to Corrine Bailey Rae.  For her second release, While I'm Awake, the Dutch singer/songwriter invested the time writing material during lengthy periods of insomnia. 

    Giovanca's long, sleepless nights that inspired While I'm Awake focus primarily on love in various degrees set to a hodgepodge of musical backdrops.  The bubbly sixties pop of "Everything" states that love is a matter of being satisfied within one's self:  "Why would you measure what we have against someone else's happiness?" A lively Motown-fueled R&B/gospel blend is the soundtrack for the fairly depressing themed "Drop It," about love's complicated relationships:  "Sometimes I think loving you seems more like fate than it is a choice."  "Lovechild" - a Madonna style, eighties funked up dance jam - centers on unconditional love: "I won't love you and leave you behind."  On the neo-soul tip, "She Just Wants to Know" relays the all too familiar, frustrating tale of a woman feeling insecure despite wanting to please her man: "She's just trying to understand, His eyes are wondering off again."  A plea for finding the right man, "Time is Ticking," kicks in full steam ahead ragtime blues.    

    The strongest assets on While I'm Awake are Giovanca's straight-up songwriting and her unique musical vision to accompany those lyrics.   Unfortunately, Giovanca's fairly plain voice rarely generates much passion or soulful aftertaste behind those songs.  But whatever mood she expresses from her notebook, While I'm Awake absolutely translates into fascinating storylines.

    Music:  2.5 stars
    Lyrics:  3.5 stars
    Vocals:  2.0 stars
    Production:  3.0 stars
    SoulTracks Call:  Mildly Recommended

    By Peggy Oliver

     
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