Gabrielle Aplin: English Rain – Review

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I’ve spoken a good deal on here and my Facebook page about what a huge fan I am of Bath singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin. She started out as a YouTube sensation before striking some festive gold with her chart topping Christmas rendition of “The Power of Love,” before officially signing up to a major label and thus releasing her debut album English Rain. The 20 year old spent years (six if you want an exact number), ensuring that her music was market ready and fans of her youtube days will be pleased to hear the she doesn’t stray far off the acoustic sound that they’ve grow to love.  Having listened to it constantly for the last week and a half, I’m hugely impressed with the quality of the album.

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The standard album contains 12 tracks including singles Please Don’t Say You Love Me and the newly released Panic Cord, and I found something to love about each of the acoustically driven melodies. Aplin’s beautifully pure voice and poetic lyrics carry the album and while it tips its hat to her heroes (Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake among others), Aplin has successfully funneled most of her energies into creating a set of beautiful melodies and lyrics that subtly draw the listener in. Given that she is just the tender age of 20, I was impressed by the strength of her song writing capabilities. She co-wrote all the songs bar the Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover and lyrically, she demonstrates a real maturity to her poetically driven lyrics (particularly on the album closer Start of Time), and you can tell upon listening that she has given great thought into the lyrics of every track.

Highlights for me include the beautiful, string accompanied Alive, Ready to Question, the haunting Start of Time, the irresistibly catchy November and the ode to country pop that is Please Don’t Say You Love Me, but I really enjoyed the whole album from start to finish. Oddly enough the song she is most famous for The Power of Love, seems oddly out of place, as the folk/pop sound that dominates the album certainly suits her better. The deluxe edition contains three extra tracks (Evaporate is particularly good) and a set of acoustic remixes that are worth getting the deluxe version for alone.

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Aplin demonstrates a huge amount of talent with this debut album and if this is only a starting point, we can expect a hell of a lot more from this artist as she goes on. My only qualm with the album would be that she seems hesitant in some of her vocal deliveries; she never seems to fully let her voice take over a song, but this is most likely just a confidence issue that will improve as she progresses musically.

In short this is a strong, beautifully melodic debut album that will surely see Aplin destined for big things in the future.

Are you a fan of the Gabrielle Aplin? Would you give English Rain a listen? Tell all in the comments section!

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