British singer Gabrielle
's third album was a monster hit in Europe but caused barely a ripple in the United States. It is unfortunate because the album is quite engaging, and had it received the proper promotion, it may have even registered a hit single or two in America. This is sophisticated, mellow British soul-pop, somewhat akin to Simply Red
. The songs are pleasant, but none really stand out as instant hits, although her Bob Dylan
-inspired "Rise" became a huge European smash. The album has a subtle 1960s feel to it, especially on "When a Woman" and "Falling," which recalls Supremes
-era soul-pop. For the most part, though, the songs register between slow to mid-tempo, save for a brief moment of funk on the tune "5 O'Clock." Standout cuts include the ballad "Should I Stay," which, of all the gems on this set, seems the most hitworthy. "Only You" has a lush, beautiful string section, and the album's opener, "Sunshine," flows with an interesting groove. A good album, and surely deserving of more attention than what it received in the United States, especially considering the following she garnered with her first (and only) stateside hit, "Dreams."