Gabriella Cilmi: Lessons to be learned and feel a little safer

Gabriella Cilmi (pronounced “chill me” — and she does give me chills) was all of 17 years old when she co-wrote and recorded this song and others on her debut album, Lessons to be Learned. This is no Avril Lavigne, or Miley Cyrus, or Britney Spears. Cilmi has a soul of the ancients, and a deep, resonant voice that sees into the heart of the matter at hand. There’s another vid I’ll post which reveals a presence well beyond her years. But back to this song.

Safer is a beautifully crafted song beginning with just a piano melody and light string accompaniment then building and building in intensity and instrumentation and voices, a growing desperation, a growing unease, a need to feel safer when there seems to be no steady ground.

And just when I think I’m on top
I wonder how I’ll get back down
And just then the moment is lost,
I stumble and I hit the ground

No hope, no way out, a heart broken to the core. But then…

That someone in my head said to me, I can tell that
Deep in your heart you’ll find what you need
Wasted time building castles with sand
And every night I’ll watch them fall and slip through my hands

Don’t look beyond yourself for that safety. The strength you seek, find it in your own heart, not someone else’s. That sense of safety in someone else’s arms almost always slips through your hands.

A weaker voice, or a younger soul, couldn’t give these words the gravitas Cilmi does here. Even most of today’s divas would run vocal circles around the lyric, making the song as much about their voice as the meaning. Cilmi cuts straight to the heart of the matter.

7 Responses to “Gabriella Cilmi: Lessons to be learned and feel a little safer”

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  1. Gary says:

    … a correction is due before they send a lynch mob out for me (in these parts, people don’t take kindly to others rubbishing their local music). I didn’t say there was no music worthy of positive reviews. What I did say was I don’t follow many, at least to the point that I could give any sort of review. I can’t give an opinion on something I know little about. : )

  2. Gary says:

    I’ve heard of Gabriella but until you started posting her songs have never listened to her stuff, am listening now with headphones on. I agree, she’s defo more than a teen star whose star will burn bright, fuelled by tabloid press, and then die. She has an interesting voice, too. I’ll keep an ear out…one to track

  3. Gary says:

    R&B? Why does that not surprise me. Record companies are forever pushing young singers in that direction because they know that’s where the market is (case in point: Nellie Furtado). The next step is to have her appear in raunchy pics, with a muscular rapper wrapped around her, and all the bling in the world. *yawn*

    R&B used to mean something back in the 60s; now all it means is, “gary turns the dial”

  4. Peter says:

    lmao —

    ‘kay — do you have an opinion on Ms. Cilmi, then? Or, at least this song?

  5. Peter says:

    Oh, and another correction is due. Cilmi was 13 when she was discovered in Melbourne, and worked several years to create and produce the songs on this record, which was released soon after she turned 17.

  6. Peter says:

    Her new album is coming out next month. I listened to some cuts from it. She’s gone R&B. Not a genre of music I generally care for…and one I don’t think will tax her voice (or her soul) so much as this debut album. Ahhh, well. There’s always the third try.

  7. Peter says:

    Every now and again, somebody breaks through the R&B mold (mould?) and does something with their career. EG: Alannis Morrisette. And also, rarely, someone manages to do something interesting with R&B (En Vogue comes to mind, though they were never all that heavy to the genre). Hopefully, Cilmi’s future heads off in one of those directions.

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