Gabriela_anders-wanting_span3
January/February 1999

Gabriela Anders
Wanting
Warner Brothers

Reading the PR pieces on Argentine vocalist Gabriela Anders, one might expect an heir to the rootsy-Braziljazz-meets-pop chanteuses Sade and Basia, who wrap their accomplished musicianship in likeable layers of accessible melody. On her debut big-label outing, Wanting (Warner Bros. 9 46907-2; 56:53) Anders shows her chops-a lovely, pure vocal style that would be well suited to the lanky lines of South America-but wastes them on incredibly ordinary been-there-done-that contemporary nightscape arrangements. There are Latin percussive elements and phrases sprinkled through tracks like "You Know What It's Like" and "Wanting," but they're covered in a slick, hard shell of c-jazz keyboards. This album even manages to dull down the classic "Girl From Ipanema" with a crawling tempo and lifeless, thudding keyboards that lay waste to Anders' vocal. The exception here (and perhaps a good jumping-off point for the next album) is "Brasiliera," which reaches into the roots for a joyful vocalese & guitar harmony piece. Much more typical and disheartening, however, is "Fantasia," a sung-in-Spanish piece with a nice nylon guitar flourish that sounds promising at first, but is eventually blunted by the high hum of keyboard effects and dull urban percussion.

Originally published in January/February 1999
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