Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CD review – Gin Wigmore, Holy Smoke

Oh My seemed promising so when a friend passed on the album Holy Smoke, I thought I’d give it a shot.


A shot to the head would have been more pleasing.

Listening to this aural trash, I was almost tempted to call the SPCA and save a nearby cat from strangulation. Fortunately for cat lovers, there was no such act of violence to animals, it was merely my ears taking a beating.

Not only is the one of the most poorly produced albums I have ever heard, it is let down by awful, just awful, rhyming couplets (a rookie lyrical mistake), unimaginative song writing, and then there’s her voice.

In Oh My and I Do Gin’s “trademark” raspy voice is endearing and actually sounds quite good in the appropriate song. When she attempts slow-rock love songs the combination is not a winning one. In fact, I struggled to make it through the first three songs on the album.

There is nothing new or refreshing about Gin’s voice . She’s come into the game a little too late and is riding on the coattails of Amy Winehouse and Duffy. However, she does it with such lack of grace and artistic value that the “difference” she offers is merely a failed emulation of a style that’s been overdone in the last few years.

And I’m disgusted to hear that Gin’s influences include Neil Young and Jeff Buckley. What an insult to two of the greatest musicians ever, that this “artist” should consider herself influenced by them.

Am I being too harsh? I can see the merit in Gin – there was potential. I'd blame the producers of the album more than anything. However, winning an international song-writing competition does not give you license to rush out a terrible, terrible album just because you happened to write one other good song, while riding the wave of someone else’s popular song. Stick to the backing vocals, I say.

There's a clear difference between "unpolished" and "sounds like shit" and they managed to make Gin fit rather unfortunately into the latter group.

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