Mirroring the career path of Jessie J, V.V. Brown, and Keri Hilson, New York singer/songwriter Wynter Gordon steps out from behind the scenes, where she penned tracks for the likes of Flo Rida, David Guetta, and Jennifer Lopez, and finally takes the limelight for herself with her first album, With the Music I Die. Unlike her fellow moonlighters' soul-pop efforts, Gordon's debut is purely aimed at the dancefloor, with all but one of its ten tracks (the clattering R&B of "Back to You") packed full of thumping beats, anthemic synths, and pulsing basslines. Luckily, Gordon's established songwriting pedigree ensures that the constant floor-filling vibes avoid descending into generic "having fun in the club" Black Eyed Peas territory, as she cleverly maintains the "life is music" theme on the euphoric trance-pop of "Til Death" ("til death do we party"), seductively reels off a list of bedroom fantasies on the suggestive moans and Calvin Harris-esque riffs of Australian chart-topper "Dirty Talk," and playfully cajoles her "sugar daddy" on the tongue-in-cheek electro of "Buy My Love." Also keeping things fresh is the impressive array of star producers on board, such as Empire of the Sun's Nick Littlemore, who replicates his trademark bittersweet '80s-tinged pop on the unashamedly retro "Still Getting Younger," Puerto Rican DJ Robbie Rivera, whose kaleidoscopic new age-inspired synths provide a suitably chilled-out feel to album closer "In the Morning," and surprisingly, '90s Swedish Europop outfit Ace of Base, who abandon their usual faux-reggae in favor of Spanish flamenco on the infectious holiday anthem-in-waiting "Rumba." There are a few formulaic numbers such as the Kylie-aping robotic disco of "Drunk on Your Love" and the Clubland-by-numbers sound of "All My Life," but as Gordon is blessed with an impressive Leona Lewis-ish set of lungs and an inventive way with words, With the Music I Die is still a cut above your usual "mostly filler, little killer" dance-pop record, which could well propel her into the same league as the artists she helped to create hits for.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien