Just three months after releasing her sixth solo album Love Letters, Gina Carey returns with another album Love Letters Two. This is a combination of old and new songs. There are four songs apiece from Gina’s two previous albums, 2011s Melodic and 2012s Love Letters. The three new songs, You, Being In Love and You Are Right are from Gina’s forthcoming album Live, Love and Laugh, due out in September 2012. These three songs should whet your appetite nicely, with Gina silky, sultry voice better than ever. If this is the standard Gina sets on Live, Love and Laugh, then this will very definitely be an album to look out for. Not only that, but Love Letters 2 is the perfect introduction to Gina Carey’s music. It gives newcomers to her music the opportunity to hear songs from her two previous album. I’m sure that after hearing Love Letters Two, they’ll be seeking out Gina’s previous albums. Unlike her previous albums, Gina has decided that Love Letters 2 will be a digital only release, and will be released on 21st May 2012. So for those of you who can’t wait until the release date of Love Letters Two, I’ll tell you about the music on the album.

Opening Love Letters Two is one of the trio of new songs Being In Love. Slow strings briefly sweep in, instantly grabbing your attention. Then suddenly, it’s all change. Now the tracks heads for familiar territory, Nu-Soul. This is something Gina does so well. Straight away, her vocal is emotive and heartfelt. Gina’s accompanied by acoustic guitar, rhythm section and stabs of organ, which prove really effective. Her vocal is multi-tracked, so Gina adds backing vocals. Meanwhile, husband John, plays bass and guitar, before later, adding backing vocals. To quote Sly Stone, Love Letters Two is a “family affair.” Together, the Carey’s combine to create a stunning new track, with Gina’s vocal irresistible, heartfelt and beautiful.

Unbelievable is the first of four tracks from Gina’s 2011 album Melodic. Gina scats emotively as the track opens, before an understated, but effective arrangement reveals its beauty and charms. A bass, acoustic guitar and an atmospheric organ combine. They’re played with a subtlety that allows Gina’s vocal to take centre-stage and shine. Her vocal is impassioned and sincere, as if the lyrics are personal. Her vocal is multi-tracked, so she contributes backing vocals. Meanwhile, John continues sprinkle subtle wah-wah guitar while lush strings reflect the emotion and beauty in Gina’s vocal.

You Are Right is the second new song, from Gina’s forthcoming album Live, Love and Laugh. It’s a mid-tempo track, with a quite different, more moderne sounding arrangement. Having said that, it’s really effective, with Gina surpasses herself, delivering a vocal full of hurt and heartache. Her voice quivers with emotion, as it soars while she delivers the lyrics, against a shuffling Nu-Jazz arrangement. Mostly, it’s just the rhythm section, guitar, percussion and keyboards that accompany a reflective Gina. Interestingly, sometimes, her voice is swathed in echo, which seems to add to the emotion and sadness of the track. Of the three new tracks on Love Letters Two, this must be the most emotive and powerful of the trio, with an older, wiser Gina reflecting on the past.

Swathes of lush, graceful strings and piano open Lush Share My Life another track from Gina’s 2011 album Melodic. Then, guitars and the rhythm section accompany Gina’s heartfelt vocal. Her voice is impassioned, quivering emotively, and is tinged with an intensity. Meanwhile, backing vocals accompany Gina, as strings glide gracefully, while guitars drift in and out. Key to the track is the piano, which like the strings, play important roles, adding the effectiveness and emotion of the song. What makes this such an outstanding track is the intensity and desire in Gina’s vocal.

You is the third and final new track from Gina’s forthcoming album Live, Love and Laugh. The track is a classy slice of Nu-Soul which to me, will make a great single. The tempo is quicker, with Gina singing lead vocal and singing backing vocals. During the track, Gina takes a diversion into Nu-Jazz, scatting her way through part of the song. Later she unleashes her vocal, allowing it soar elegantly and gracefully. When she does this, it’s emotive and impassioned, especially when delivered against the understated arrangement. Here, stabs of piano, lush strings, guitar and crisp drums combine, but never once, overpower Gina’s vocal. Instead, they provide the perfect backdrop for Gina, who surpasses herself. Not only does she deliver one of her best vocals on Love Letters Two, but this is the best song of Gina’s three new ones.

Not only is Loving You is another track from Melodic, Gina’s fourth album, it demonstrates just how talented a vocalist and songwriter Gina Carey is. Like the other tracks on Love Letters Two, Gina wrote the song. It’s a beautiful love song, with Gina’s vocal full of devotion and desire. Guitars reverberate, while subtle drums and keyboards accompany Gina. Later, John lays down a crystalline, emotive guitar solo, that’s perfect for the track. So are Gina’s multi-tracked backing vocals, which add to the soulfulness and intrinsic beauty of the track. After you’ve heard this compelling and captivating track, and others from Melodic, I’m sure you’ll want to hear much more of the album.

Although So Natural is the title of this track, it could also describe Gina’s singing style. Not for Gina the histrionics you hear on some modern soul albums, just music sung with emotion and passion, delivered in a voice that’s very beautiful. This is the case here, with her vocal delivered with a combination of subtlety, emotion and passion. Like her vocal, the arrangement has a similar understated quality, just keyboards, crispy drumbeats, lush strings and some subtle guitar playing from John. Similar to other tracks, Gina’s vocals are multi-tracked so she also contributes backing vocals. Towards the end of the track, her voice soars high, but as always, Gina controls her voice perfectly. This paean to love, is sung with feeling, sincerity and emotion by Gina and was one of the highlights of Love Letters, Gina’s previous album.

Don’t You Give Up is the fourth and final track from Melodic, revealing the spiritual side to Gina’s music. This is no surprise, given Gina’s first three albums were gospel albums. While the arrangement is Nu-Soul, the track is gospel tinged, with Gina’s vocal sincere and thankful. Meanwhile, the arrangement sees punchy drums, handclaps, guitars and keyboards combine. The drums are prominent, while guitars, and keyboards play lesser roles. Later, Gina unleashes her secret weapon, husband John. He unleashes a dramatic guitar solo, that not only grabs your attention, but demonstrates just why he’s heard in such high regard in jazz circles. Then when Gina’s vocal reenters, her vocal is heartfelt and sincere, as she fuses Nu-Soul with R&B and gospel seamlessly and effortlessly.

When For Love opens, a brief burst of strings can be heard, before giving way to slow, crisp beats and keyboards. They provide the perfect backdrop for Gina’s louder, strong and hugely impassioned vocal. Backing vocalists accompany Gina, as she sings about what “she’d do for love.” The track has a real 21st century Nu Soul sound, with its drums and keyboards combining slowly with Gina’s sensuous, sultry vocal. Like other tracks on Love Letters, Gina’s previous album, this track demonstrates she can write and delivers some beautiful love songs, which she brings to life with her impassioned and sensuous delivery. 

Beautiful Music was an apt title for this track from Love Letters, given its slow tempo, beautiful, subtle arrangement and Gina reflective and thankful. Her delivery is heartfelt, the lyrics about love and her relationship with husband John. Lyrics like “I’m the strings on your guitar” and “we make beautiful music together” are just two of the many lovely lyrics in this song. The arrangement features flourishes of keyboards, a slow bass and crisp drums, while guitar, finger-clicks and backing vocalists add to what is one of Love Letters’ most romantic, heartfelt and beautiful tracks.

I Run is a mid-tempo track with a real gospel influence. Gina’s first three albums were gospel albums and this is a lovely combination of gospel and soul music.  The track opens with keyboards, standup bass, guitars and percussion before a vocal from Gina that’s assured and sincere enters. During the track, Gina sings “I run to the Lord,” and “surrender to God” demonstrating her faith. With backing vocalists accompanying her, the song is delivered in a call and response style, with the backing vocalists answering Gina. Throughout mesmerizing arrangement’s sound. Again, though, it’s Gina’s beautiful vocal that takes centre-stage as she delivers her message with an assuredness and sincerity.

Love Letters Two, Gina Garey’s sixth album is a compelling and captivating collection of songs, old and new. The music is variously beautiful, heartfelt and impassioned. Gina’s decision to release an album containing four songs from Melodic and Love Letters, her two previous albums and three from her forthcoming album Live, Love and Laugh should result in many new fans discovering her music. It allows people to discover her back-catalogue, while new fans will want to hear a preview of what Live, Love and Laugh will sound like. If the rest of Live, Love and Laugh is as good as the three songs on Love Letters Two, then it’ll prove to be the best album of her career. Having said that, Melodic and Love Letters are both outstanding albums, where Gina delivers some beautiful music, music which shows that Gina Carey has a big future ahead of her. Not only is she a hugely talented vocalist, but a talented songwriter, musician and producer. Surely very soon, major labels will start to take an interest in Gina Carey’s career. For anyone yet to discover Gina Carey’s music, then Love Letters Two is the perfect starting point. Standout Tracks: Being In Love, You, So Natural and Beautiful Music.



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