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Single Review: Gabriela “Most Wanted”

“If you can’t keep your hands off the goods now / You’re gonna get it right where you want it / ‘Cause you can’t keep a good woman down now / Welcome to America’s Most Wanted.” This is the lusty manner in which Gabriela broaches the chorus of her debut single “Most Wanted,” and although the linguistics are sharp as a tack, they’re only giving you a small taste of the energy this player can bring to the microphone when she’s passionate about a verse. Gabriela conveys a statement of fearlessness with her lack of interest in even the crudest of poetic shields in “Most Wanted,” and while some might find it distasteful for the contemporary standard, I think it’s a rather confident look worthy of applause from all sides.

The vocal is definitely what gives the lyrical content in this single its sense of vibrancy – a sense that, I should add, likely wouldn’t have been included in this recording were there a different singer in charge of the mic. There’s a coldness to the hook that barely sees and kindling from the harmony Gabriela starts in the chorus, and though I think this was meant to create emotional clarity and authenticity for the verses, it’s an experimental compositional move that probably wouldn’t have turned out well for a crooner of less talent.

 

 

While the percussion isn’t as relentless as I’d like it to be here, there’s still enough precision on the part of Gabriela at the head of the arrangement that the groove isn’t lost to the song’s backend. She would benefit from a better instrumental foundation in the future, but only if she seeks to continue recording this boldly electric style over something more simple and vocal based. With her skillset, she could do acapella or something just as stripped-down, and I don’t know that she’d be any less accomplished at the end of the day.

I don’t usually follow Gabriela’s scene, but the release of “Most Wanted” has made me curious to look out for more of her music – as well as that of her local peers – in 2022. There are scores of intriguing pop musicians across every corner of the country making a case for superstardom in the American underground at the moment, but if you find old-school showmanship to be a bit more provocative than the alternative-tinged stylizations of an efficient modern generation, this is the gal to go see.

 

Ava Archuleta

 

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