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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goapele's Extreme Makeover

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 10:01 AM

click to enlarge Before...
  • Before...

When last we saw Oakland singer Goapele--back in 2005--she was a socially-conscious neo-soul hippie, surrounded by fairytale-esque flowers and rainbows on the cover of her second album Change It All.
Her music ranged from Lynda Perry-penned romantic ballads ("Dark Side of the Moon") to hyphy love songs ("Different," with Clyde Carson) to retro-80s rave-ups ("Love Me Right") to syrupy duets with Dwele ("You") to subtle rabble-rousing ditties ("Change It All," "Find A Way").

It was an ambitious effort, one that was either not trendy/sexy enough for mainstream tastes, or severely underpromoted by her then-label, Sony/Columbia (depending on your perspective).



What a difference four years makes. Goapele's new video for "Milk and Honey," not only crushes the notion of her as cute but conservative--she's depicted, somewhat seductively, lounging in a bathtub, intercut with images of dripping milk and churning honey--but processes her vocals through a T-Pain-esque AutoTuner.

click to enlarge ...and After
  • ...and After

Two other new songs posted on her MySpace page confirm she's had an extreme image makeover: "Chocolate" continues the sex/food metaphors--and the AutoTunerized vox--while "Don't Be Shy" slows things down a bit, but keeps the heat on a slow burn, as Goap allows herself to be enticed by an attractive suitor over a prominent handclap. This isn't the first time a female vocalist has sexed herself up in order to promote new material, but Goapele has both the songwriting skills and singing chops to make the transition seem smooth. Watch this space for more news about her upcoming, as-yet-untitled, album.





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Eric Arnold

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