Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
12:00 AM 11th May 2024

Albums: Gabrielle A Place In Your Heart

Gabrielle A Place in Your Heart

Sorry; Miss You; Won't Be There; Good Enough (ft. Mahalia); Never; Change; A Place In Your Heart; Rainbow; Taken Over; Lifeline; Feel; Conquer

Label: BMG

A Place in Your Heart is an apt title for an album by Gabrielle. 31 years after the single that catapulted her to success and secured her a place in the hearts of the adoring public, with 30 singles under her belt, she is finally releasing her eighth studio album ahead of her first ever arena tour. Having never released a record, this is her first album of new material since 2018's #7 charting Under My Skin, although the brilliant cover song Do It Again in 2021 did bridge the demand for a little more sunshine in our record collections.

So what about album #8? Gabrielle, who teased the release with the sensational title track and emotive Sorry, stated that this album sees her free of genre restrictions and was born out of a creative process that she has thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Having dabbled in other genres fleetingly, does A Place in Your Heart see Gabrielle really breaking the mould?

Alas, this is not an album that takes leaps and bounds away from Gabrielle's soulful pop terrain, but it is definitely an album that contains light and shade. From bold ballads to striking mid-tempos, it is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Although the inner rocker may not have fully come out to play, there are elements of soft rock influence that do add a new dimension to the Gabrielle sound.

At its finest, A Place in Your Heart delivers the striking Mahalia collaboration Good Enough, which imbues rock and soul on the title track, and Conquer delivers one of her most driven pop hits in a while. While these three may be the album highlights, the absence of a low light is all down to the strength and depth of Gabrielle's artistry.

Lyrically, A Place in Your Heart is not all sugar and sweetness, with tough personal moments explored, but the defiant and determined Gabrielle manages to uplift her listener with her inner strength as she shares more of her personal journey with them. The formula worked on Rise, and once again, it proves fruitful for more musical gold.

Eight albums in, and Gabrielle is still as definitively brilliant as at the very outset of her career