Gabriela Anders

Wanting

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Gabriela Anders got her big break singing a duet with soft jazz giant Michael Franks, and like that new age patriarch, Anders wraps laid-back vocals around even more tranquil rhythms. It's all very calming and proficient and breezy. And also bland as hell. Like her mentor, Anders has a hard time injecting any soul into her work. Wanting, her debut album, mixes bits of her Argentine heritage with late-'70s California jazz; so, Brazilian music coasts along with soft and hazy saxophone fills and tapping percussion leads. It all can be very pretty -- the opening "Fire of Love" represents Anders at her most relaxed and relaxing -- but boring if you're expecting tempo shifts or even minor vocal inflections. Anders merely settles for a place next to the band to drift along. Yet, no one seems to be going anywhere or really caring about their passivity.

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