Gina Noell
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Gina Noell


Band Alternative Pop


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"In Music We Trust. Feb. 2005"

Gina Noell
Letting Go of Strings (Rock Kitten Records)
By: Jeb Branin

Sultry, seductive and scintillating... Gina Noell's voice is, and always has been, pure rapture. While many of today's pop mistresses try to use their voices to have sex with their listeners, Gina's voice makes love. Gina music isn't a tawdry dance club and a cheap one-night stand. It's a long walk on the beach. It's the romanticism and refuge of a long term relationship. It's the warmth of friendship enhanced by passion. It's classic and enduring beauty instead of trashy and trendy flash. It's music that leaves a mark, instead of just an impression. It's maturity and class. It's simply the best femme pop you've never heard.

- By : Jeb Branin


Letting Go Of Strings — Gina Noell
Rock Kitten Records, 2003

Originally published Dec. 25, 2003
by Jedd Beaudoin

What if David Bowie had decided to say hang it all and become and woman? Chances are he might have sounded something like Gina Noell, whose Letting Go Of Strings proves extraordinarily similar to some of the Thin White Duke's post 1980 material. Gina Noell, is, if nothing else a singer who can balance the world of crooning with the world of rocking, just like ol' Ziggy hisself. It's uncanny. Witness "3-65" (didn't Bowie have a thing for songs with numbers in their titles?), a track that could have easily wound up on, say, Let's Dance or even Tonight. That is, of course, if he were a woman. And if he were Gina Noell. But he's him and she's her and this is, it turns out, a fine album without all that confusing stuff going on.
Noell dresses many of these songs up in wonderfully fashionable clothes, building them like high-security skyscrapers, wrapping them in sexy clothes that tease but never reveal too much. Witness "Perfect," an almost-eerily seductive piece that imagines a positively upbeat Portishead or a clinically depressed blues belter sitting in with ol' David Jones himself.
But comparisons to other artists and appreciations of studio craft aside, the fact is that this record wouldn't work were it not for a series of strong songs, which we get with "Perfect," "Never Forever" and "Addicted" (imagine Annie Lennox starting out today), three that come in a sequence that leaves the listener reeling. Elsewhere, "Going On" proves simply lovely, while "Black Fog" will render the listener simply dumb.
That said, Letting Go Of Strings isn't perfect. There are one or two tracks ("Heat" mostly) that don't quite hit the mark with the same passion as the others mentioned here, but, for the most part, this serves as a fine introduction to this songstress. Now, for our next trick, let's get Noell together with Reeves Gabrels, shall we?
- Jedd Beaudoin


Gina Noëll's debut is eclectic and takes in its styles with a sense of adventure. She goes from trip-hop to pop to bossanova without losing foothold once.

The pop confection "3-65" nods to Blondie's sound. Noëll gives it her best Debbie Harry swoon vocally.

"Never Forever" is a plaintive song that allows Noëll to stretch her impressive voice.

The suggestive "Addicted" is icily dark in all the right places. Noëll makes a compelling diva here.

"No One's Left Standing" is a playful bossa.

"Black Fog" is dramatic and strong.

"Letting Go of Strings" is a fabulous record.

Posted on January 9m, 2004

- a Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

"The Portland Mercury"


(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Wait, okay, so what you're telling me is that Gina Noëll has been kicking around the Portland music scene with bands like LoveNancySugar for years now, and this is the first I've ever heard of her? Have I been DEAD? Am I a ZOMBIE? Am I this very minute a flesh-eating walking corpse, brought back to life by the deep, whispering singings of Noëll on her new solo album Letting Go of Strings? Am I a sightless ghoul fueled by nothing but track after track of hot, steamy songwriting, impeccable production values, and a slew of all-star guest musicians like keyboardist James Beaton? God, I hope so. That would be so COOL! JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
- By: Justin Wescoat Sanders

"The Oregonian : A&E Supplement"

sound check
notes from the Northwest music scene

GINA NOELL LETS GO, COOKS UP SOLO ALBUM -- As she neared completion of her debut solo CD, "Letting Go of Strings," singer Gina Noell hit on a unique idea that gives more intimate meaning to the expression "will work for food."

Throughout much of the past year, Noell and her producer/husband, Michael Cubbon, assembled many of Portland's most talented musicians to play on the CD. Some of these players -- notably including Jeff Trott Band and Everclear keyboardist James Beaton, Carmina Piranha/Carmina Luna's Lara Michell, Pinehurst Kid Joe Davis and Keith Schreiner of Dahlia -- had literally sung, or rather played, for their supper.

It seems that in addition to being a solid songwriter and flirtatious frontwoman, Noell, the former vocalist of LoveNancySugar, also is an ace cook. Last summer, anticipating the cost of funding the manufacturing and promotion of her album, Noell and Cubbon hosted a series of three-course fund-raising dinners at their home. Friends and supporters enjoyed paella, herbed halibut, shepherd's pie and lamb chops with baby potatoes and asparagus.

"It finally hit me that so many people who had worked on the album did work for dinner," Noell says. "And (they) liked it. It seemed like something I could do."

Something she could do, indeed. Just like releasing a solo effort instead of "hiding," as Noell puts it, "behind a band name." During several former lineups of LoveNancySugar she split her time and energy between writing songs, being frontwoman and trying to strike compromises among band members. No longer.

"This is the first concept that I've done where I really am able to call the shots. I'm finally hearing my songs the way I want to hear them."

The 13-song "Letting Go of Strings" provides Noell room to explore a variety of styles from guitar-fueled modern rock ("3-65") to trip-hop ("Perfect") to electronica ("Addicted") to '80s-style new wave ("Heat"). There's even a bossa nova-influenced tune, "No One's Left Standing." The common thread to the diverse recording is Noell's dusky coo.

While it's easy to hear influences in Noell's singing -- Kate Bush, Debbie Harry, Annie Lennox, even a few male vocalists -- she succeeds in establishing her own identity on "Letting Go of Strings." That identity is a sassy mixture of independent woman, sweet romantic and seductress. The final track, "(Look) What I Can Do," is an assertive, proud declaration of accomplishment.

"I am such a girly girl," Noell says. "I think we (women) have so much more power than we give ourselves credit for, and we don't have to find that power by trying to be masculine."

Copyright 2003 Oregon Live. All Rights Reserved. - Mark Woodlief


Gina is currently in the studio recording her next CD.

"Letting Go of Strings"
Rock Kitten Records #RK001 released 11-11-03
National Distribution via BDC Distribution

"NeoRetroErotiPop" LoveNancySugar
Rainforest Records



Seemingly distilling the essence of artists like Shirley Manson (Garbage), Imogene Heap and Goldfrapp and 80's icons, Debbie Harry, Annie Lennox and even David Bowie, Gina Noell then blends that potent brew with elements of guitar-fueled rock, trip-hop and electronica and her own unique songwriting.

She has successfully captured on disc all the contradictions she portrays on-stage - the contradictions that are Gina Noëll: Charismatic and pensive, confident and doubting, sultry and shy, street-smart yet innocent.
Her previous songwriting with former band LoveNancySugar, garnered excellent reviews and national college airplay. But while that material revealed a pop princess who made promises yet ultimately teased, Her new songs reveal a singer/songwriter who has finally found herself. Gina's artistic maturity delivers with a breadth of feeling that will leave the listener both sated and wanting more.
From hook-laden guitar rock to pulsating electronica grooves, sultry, trip-hop to a bossa nova reminiscent of 60's movie soundtracks, from rootsy acoustic guitar pop to sweet cello solos and warbling Mellotrons, Gina Noëll artfully distills and then blends a musical cocktail to constantly tingle your taste buds. Her performance will not wear out its welcome: It will absorb you again and again with a unique mixture of quirky, intriguing, sensual lyrics and genre-bending styles. As always Gina led the pack of Portland's current "laptop" bands when she first adopted the genre over 3 years ago, however she has never strayed too far from live musicianship with the inclusion of a guitarist and her own brand of stage presence.