Gioia's debut solo album is a long time coming
several years for some fans. After being teased with such singles as "Free To Be" (released on her own label in 2001) and "From The Inside" (released on the Queer As Folk Season 3 soundtrack album), Gioia Bruno has at long last treated the dance music community to an ample collection of pop/club tunes with the album Expose This.
Having written or co-written six of the 13 tracks on Expose This, Gioia proves herself to be a talented songwriter as well as performer. Fans of Gioia's earlier work with the female pop trio Expose will be pleased to hear her voice is just as strong and right-on as it was over a decade and a half ago with their first smash hit "Point Of No Return."
This collection of songs ranges from light, poppy bursts of fun ("Just Another Day," "Incredible," and "I Can Feel You") to ballads ("Every Little Thing" and "Until The End Of Time") to even full-length club mixes ("Barely Breathing," written and produced by Pete Lorimer, in a full eight-and-a-half minute version).
Other talented writers and producers who were chosen to lend a hand to Expose This include Desmond Child, Giuseppe D, Marie Christensen, and DJ Strobe, whose remix edit of the first single "Be Mine" closes out the album. Already this song is getting airplay on US dance radio, which makes perfect sense, since it is clearly one of the album's best tracks.
Other album highlights include the beautiful "I Can Feel You" with its catchy hooks, the latin-flavored "Going Going Gone," and the Metro-esque "Just Another Day." Pete Lorimer also took time out from his duties as remixer 29 Palms to write and produce the haunting "Addicted," a blending of trance and ethereal synths coupled with lyrics that will sweep the listener away to another place.
Although there's a parental advisory warning sticker on the CD cover, the album has no objectionable material, and a quick review of the lyrics (available for viewing at her website, www.gioiaburno.net) shows no profanity. Perhaps to blame are the revealing photos in the album's CD jacket. The cover artwork is indeed sizzling hot, but the cleavage-baring shots inside the CD case would have been better left to a photo spread in Maxim magazine.
Many fans will wonder why Koch Records didn't include some of Gioia's earlier solo works on this album. Gems like "Wreckin' My Nerves," "This Is It," and "Free To Be" (the Nic Mercy mix of which remains to this day my favorite Gioia mix of all time) were left off the album Expose This and remain only obtainable through other means. I wasn't given any specific reason for the exclusion of these tracks, but I was told by her management that there's always a possibility of them being released on a future album.
So for now, we'll cross our fingers for much more material from the wonderful Gioia, and in the meantime, jam to the enjoyable beats of Expose This.