# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Gabriels - Angels and Queens

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 30 / 8 / 2023

Gabriels - Angels and Queens
Label: DEF Digby
Format: CD


Excellent debut album from much acclaimed American soul trio Gabriels

At his farewell Glastonbury performance, many fans had been expecting Elton John to choose a bigger name as his first guest - but I was not surprised he opted for the charismatic Jacob Lusk, frontman of Anglo-American trio Gabriels. Two years ago Elton had described Gabriels' debut EP/’Love And Hate In A Different Times’ as “one of the most seminal records I've heard in the last decade” and, like many top people in the music business, Elton is a huge supporter of Gabriels. At Glastonbury, the Los Angeles-born and shocking pink-suited Jacob Lusk wowed the Pyramid Stage (and a TV audience of around 7.5 million viewers) with his soulful rendition of ‘Are You Ready For Love?’ with the Rocketman - and many believed a new star had been born in front of their eyes! The Gabriels have now released their first album and are set for big things! ‘Angels & Queens’ draws on the rich heritage of American soul with reminders of Motown, Luther Vandross and Prince – but the sound is also modern, boosted by moody electronics and big-sound strings all supporting the show-stopping versatile voice of former church singer and ‘American Idol’ contestant Lusk. The Gabriels trio are an interesting mix. Supporting 36 year-old Lusk are Hollywood film composer and classical violinist Ari Balouzian plus Sunderland-born film and video-director, DJ and master keyboardist Ryan Hope. The group's name derive from St Gabriels Avenue in Hope's native Wearside. The three bonded when Hope and Balouzian asked Lusk to provide vocals for an expensive Prada commercial they were making back in 2018 – and the three quickly realised that performing together could be a winning formula. The new album demonstrates how perfectly their three significant musical talents can be pooled. Lusk belts out many tracks with gusto but sings others with mellow, soulful restraint – and there are some interesting throwbacks as when the opening track, ‘Offering’ evokes Al Green. ‘The Blind’ is an anguished love song and ‘Professional’ starts as a 1940s-style jazz number before morphing into a very competent cover of Barbra Streisand's ]The Way We Were’ with Lusk singing in falsetto. Piano ballad ‘If You Only Knew’ refers to the tragic loss of Lusk's god-daughter and the title track touches on the fate of Donyale Luna, a black supermodel from the 1960s who died from a drug overdose. But this is by no means a downbeat album and “’Love And Hate In A Different Time’, the song that originally so impressed Elton John, is especially upbeat and catchy. Gabriels may be a slightly unusual - and unlikely – combination, but with their first ‘Angels & Queens’ album, the future is looking very bright for them!

Track Listing:-
1 Offering
2 The Blind
3 Angels & Queens
4 Taboo
5 To The Moon And Back
6 Professional
7 We Will Remember
8 Remember Me
9 If You Only Knew
10 Love And Hate In A Different Time
11 Glory
12 Great Wind
13 Mama
14 Love And Hate In A Different Time (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson Remix)
15 Blame (Live At Glastonbury)
16 Great Wind (Live At Glastonbury)
17 Professional (Live At Glastonbury)
18 We Will Remember (Live At Glastonbury)
19 Spanish Harlem (Live From Maida Vale)
20 Bloodline
21 Loyalty

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