For the grown folks in our audience, Oakland-based singer Goapele has emerged from her six-year hiatus with a new album called Breaking Dawn, released last week. If you like real, raw, smokey R&B, consider yourself a fan. It's refreshing for those of us who have listened to her since her "Closer" or "First Love" days, to hear her voice again this time with even more heat, if that is possible, than her last album.
Never one to play by mainstream music's rules, Breaking Dawn is a varied compilation that crosses multiple genres with finesse. "Play", the main single off Breaking Dawn, is a feverish track, likely to stimulate the population with it's "bedroom music" beat (see video below).
"Money" takes a completely different approach, supplying an uptempo beat perforated by soul-rock vocals. "Pieces" is a powerful ballad about love but remains entirely distinct from "Play" (which is more about love making...). Goapele is able to weave genres together with an agility that shows her full range of musical expression.
I'm glad this album was released on Goapele's own label, Skyblaze. It's a testament to her authenticity as a true independent artist. It perfectly reflects her style and desire to remain true to her values as an artist. All in all Breaking Dawn a strong album that will satiate patiently waiting fans while garnering many new admirers.