Customer Reviews

56
4.2 out of 5 stars
Gold Coast
Format: Audio CDChange
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Some packages seem just too good to be true. Rhian Benson was an articulate and well educated woman (MBA) before she embarked on her musical career. So, she is able to control her musical destiny far more seriously than most artists. She is drop-dead gorgeous and her voice has a sultry quality. It's unfortunate to often hear her compared as "just another Nora Jones", when Rhian Benson's depth and intensity frankly put Jones down a notch. Benson wrote all of the songs on this debut CD which is amazing as many new artists don't dare (I was shocked to note that Nora Jones scarcely writes any of her own material, as lovely as her voice is). Ladies, listen well to Benson's lyrics on her track "Invincible". Well worth the buy!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I first heard this CD while listening to WCLK online out of Atlanta, Tavis Smiley intervied her and played samples of most of the songs. Not only did she appear very humble to be soo beautiful as I now see, but she was intelligent, heartfelt and compassionate. She discussed her life in her hometown of Ghana and her migration to Los Angeles, both being "Gold Coast's". Her music is authentic and her Song "Sing to A Child" almost brought tears to my eyes, she said that the children in Ghana inspired it. She's true to herself and her music and lyrics are reflections of that. I also like "Say How I Feel" and "Spirit". Her voice is different and hte music is really nice. This is a star rising...one to buy!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I love this album. I have had the pleasure of seeing Rhian perform twice in LA and I was very impressed each time. To describe what this album does to me would be too difficult, but suffice it to say it REALLY moves me. Rhian's lush vocals adorn beautifully arranged tracks that transport you to a land where the bittersweet becomes the beautiful. My faves are "Sing to the Child", "Young Girl", "I'm in a Bind" and "Invincible". The music is richly organic and I kick back to it when I'm stressed out. Thank you Rhian for bringing your wonderful spirit into my life, I need it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album has such an amazing feel and vibe, it took me away on a musical journey. It has been a long time since I heard such a beautiful work of music and for me it matches anything I have heard this year. Congratulations to all the musicians who made this work.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Rhian Benson's cd is one that I truly wanted to like. I picked up this cd after reading the four and five star reviews on amazon.com about how wonderful Rhian was. Reviewers also compared Benson's style to Sade's. Sade is one of my favorite urban artists for the last 10 or so years. The las thing that sold me was that Benson's albums was produced by some of hip hop's finest: James Poyser(who produced the Roots, Jill Scott, and Lauryn Hill) and Bob Power (who produced a Tribe Called Quest, D'Angelo, and Erykah Badu). The last thing that sold me was Benson's pouty pretty face on the album cover also led me to believe that this would be a wonderful album.
What could possibly go wrong with this combination? Benson's album lacks imagination and emotion. While listening to the songs off this album, I felt that Benson was emotionally disconnected from her material. She has a nice voice, but it fails to inspire because she sings her material without passion. Sade still manages to infuse emotion in spite of her minimalistic approach, which Benson fails to do. The backing band's instrumental arrangements are surprisingly stale and uninspired.
I know that many reviewers will disagree with me. But frankly, I've heard better. Benson's album sounds like a bad cover of an r&b album from the 80s. I'd recommend any of Sade's albums or Amel Larrieux's "Infinite Possibilities" rather than this work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Write Alice Walker once said that most things worth obtaining, are usually found by accident. I have found this statement to be true on numerous occassions. Finding Rhina Benson's Gold Coast certainly fits the bill here. I caught a bit of her video for the song "Stealing My Peace of Mine," and instantly connected to her. Her voice is rich and sultry and her lyrics are sophisticated and mature. I love every track on this CD. My favorite are "Say How I Feel," "Stealing My Peace Away," Shake it Away," "I'm in a Bind," and "Spirit." "Spirit" is the last song that provides a powerful and uplifting message of hope in the Ghanian language. It is a beautiful finale to this project.
Several reviewers have compared Benson to Sade, but I don't think that is fair. She has a sound all her own and does not emulate any pop star. Her music is very grounded and positive. Her love ballads are fresh, unlike much of the contrived crap you hear on the radio. Her songs also contain messages of empowerment such as "Young Girl;" every teenage girl should hear this song. And her song "Song for the Children," is so appropiate in this day and age of parental advisory stickers. It makes you wonder who today's music is really for.
I can go on and on about this CD. I am very glad I purchased it and look forward to hearing more from our Gold Coast sista.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2003
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
If your only frame of reference is hip/hop then this album is not for you. If you prefer football stadium concerts as opposed to intimate jazz club performances then the album is probably not for you either.
But If you love jazz, appreciate someone who can actually sing, and musicians who actually play instruments, then you will love this album. I like all of the songs very much, but my very favorite is "say how I feel". I just wish the CD were an enhanced one that had the video on it.
Listening to Rhian is very soothing for me, and being a woman I very much appreciate the message in her songs. If I am lucky she will come to town so I can hear a live performance. I very much look forward to following her career and buying more of her music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
THis album is an absolute classic. I'm sorry, but the only way you can dislike this album is if you have only listened to it briefly, or in a rush etc. If you take your time and really chill out and listen, it is a gem and gets better each time you listen to it. I first heard about it by reading a review in Performing Songwriter magazine who are VERY VERY choosy about what they support and they gave this album an 'A' which is very unusual for them. I really respect their opinion, being a songwriter myself, and I have to say I totally agree. It is a far superior album to most of the neo-soul stuff that is out now, and will last far longer than any of that stuff because it is timeless music that is a unique mix of many styles-jazz, soul, reggae etc. I just read a review by a top radio guy in the UK who said it is one of the 7 best albums he has come across in the last 20 years!!
If you are a sophisticated music lover and not just looking for some cheap, short-lived thrills, there is NO WAY you will not appreciate this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
im so upset i found out about rhian by accident, the same way i found out about vivian green, res , kindred family soul , by flipping channels on watching the video. rhian is the closes artist to sade to date. she has 2 of the best producers os the game james poyser and bob powers behind the boards and alot of live instruments. when u hear this album ur going to want to go to ghana and chill with a guitar and a beachview.
top 5 songs
1 say how i feel
2 gold sky
3 steal my peace of mind
4 words hurt too
5 soul boy
get this album i hate how great artist like this dont sell to trash bootleg R&B like beyonce and ashati she got some nerv havin a name like that when rhian is actually from the ashanti tribe. to those who say this album needs to be more upbeat, its r&b rythem and blues blues are deeep and this is a deep album a must get. she is the truth. 1
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2006
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I really didn't know what to expect when I purchased this CD, but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a REALLY good CD. Ms. Benson is right up there with jill scott, angie stone, bridgette mcwilliams and others. if you like neosoul, sade, vivian green, goapele and others, you'll definitely like this CD. I played it for several friends and EVERYONE asked "who is that?" "it's nice!" This is a very listenable CD, great to play when entertaining folks, or when you just want to sit back relax and enjoy a mojito or two! (smile) Definitely a "go and buy" recommendation.
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