Leah-Carla Gordone – Dancing On The Dragon (CD)

Leah-Carla Gordone – Dancing On The Dragon / 2005 Butterfly Child / 11 Tracks / http://www.leahcarlagordone.com / jw162@att.net / Reviewed 26 December 2005

“Beauty” is a solid opening to “Dancing On The Dragon”, but ultimately suffers from the fact that it is stretched out to a time approximating six and a half minutes. Aside from the strong vocals from Gordone, there is a very impressive jazz horn solo that flitters through the track at all the great times. Tracks like “Rain Down” are much more sedate and seem to rely on an instrumental track that seems pulled straight out of the early nineties; compared to the opening fare on this disc, the song sounds unnecessarily meandering. The next actual “hit” for Gordone happens during “Get It Back”; a violin that mixes Irish and sixties lounge offers up a hook that really has not been heard before.

The added guitar, straight out of the Santana playbook seems a little tacked on but works nonetheless in the track. This same style of guitar occurs throughout “Dancing On The Dragon”, happening again during the overly-distorted “Let It Flow”. “Let It Flow” succeeds nicely when it comes to the dynamic tension on the disc, but suffers when this layer of distortion drapes itself over Gordone’s voice. The multiple vocal layers during “The Road” is perhaps the strongest innovation to be found on “Dancing On The Dragon”; it adds something that seems to be missing on the rest of the songs on the disc. Moving back to a slower tempo for “Let Yourself Fall”, the track seems stronger than “Rain Down” due to a smarter instrumentation on the part of Gordone’s act. The vocals on “Let Yourself Fall” are made stronger by the presence of a bass line that perfectly mimics the vocals of Gordone during the track.

“Let Yourself Fall” switches gears slightly when a funk-laden backdrop takes precedence in the second half of the track, but the momentum changes again when Gordone moves into the electronic-infused stylings of “Crystal Clear Infinity”. The different styles of music attempted on “Dancing On The Dragon” show that Gordone’s influences border on the esoteric, but one just cannot help but wonder if the album would not be more impressive if Gordone stuck with one or two genres. “Dancing On The Dragon” is a nice, innocuous album that has practically all of its eleven tracks crafted perfectly for the radio. Something is still missing from the batch of tracks that separates them from the rest of the pop music currently played on the radio.

Top Tracks: Soul Sister, Beauty

Rating: 4.9/10

[JMcQ]

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