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4 Ratings: 4.3
Bay Arean Soul and R&B Singer

Her name means "to go forward" in Setswana, her father was an exiled political activist who fought against the Apartheid System and her mother was a New York Jewish woman who'd been attending protests since she was 12. Community involvement … see full wiki

Tags: Music, R&b, Soul, Neo Soul, Bay Area Music
1 review about Goapele

Closer to My Dreams....

  • Jan 26, 2011
Goapele is one of those artists that tend to stick with you. Do you ever hear a song and it just absolutely says everything that you wish you could say in that kind of angelic voice that you yourself are far from possessing? That's exactly how I feel about the first time I heard Goapele's Closer:


Goapele means "to move or go forward" in Setswana and it seems that ever since she was born the youngest of two children of a South African political exile and a New York-born Israeli Jewish protester, she's been moving forward. Growing up in a South African exile community located in the Bay Area, California and going to Arts school afforded her the ability to constantly be aware of the world that surrounded her and to express herself artistically, respectively.

After returning to Oakland from studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston, she self-released her debut album "Closer" in 2001. She did it with a limited run and only sold the album in brick and mortar stores as well as select websites, The title track premiered at 63 in Billboard's Top 100. 

After she sold out, she released a longer album through Hieroglyphics Imperium that got the attention of Columbia Records which picked it up for worldwide distribution, added tracks, and signed her to a contract through Skyblaze Recordings, her family-owned and run label. 

Several tracks were re-recorded for inclusion on a follow-up album, and it is the only album on which the uncensored version of the song "Romantic" and the song "You" are available. Now the original album is considered to be a valuable collectors’ item.

Track Listing and Breakdown:

1. Closer: Well, you can hear for yourself in the video above. I love this song. It has a smooth, soulful style and at the same time a wistful sadness to it. I think the balance is done beautifully here. For anyone that ever gets frustrated by the hard work and dedication it takes to get closer to your dreams, you'll completely relate to this song.

2. Childhood Drama: This joint reminds me of Mary J. Blige's No More Drama. It has a very Mary vibe to it. Because it reminded me so much of that song, I couldn't get over that to just let the song speak to me on its own.

First verse: "I never wanted to be, like every other child abandoned in childhood drama (oh), I always felt that I was the exception to the rule but now who's the fool, You won't give me your love your love, So when you left me I filled up that empty place and never told it's still hollow (it's still hollow)"

3. Too Much the Same: Simple keys open up the song and then, Goapele's breezy vocals meet it to create a relaxed bluesy song about a summer love that didn't work out. It's a perfect song to have on with your windows down on a nice summer day, driving along a coast. My favorite line: "But you can't get something for nothing/ So what was mine/ Sifted through like lost time"

4. Romantic (Uncensored Version): Funky bass opens it up with some bluesy keys in the background. Goapele enters with some vocal runs and then, lays it on you in her seductive best to let you know how Romantic you are and how much she loves you. This is definitely another favorite, the YouTube user disabled the embedding but, here's a link to the song on Yahoo! Music:

Lyrics: "Kiss my wounds, Love me tender, Buy me flowers i've never seen, Wake me up from my dreams
To bring me french toast and tea, In the morning light, Fly across country to spend, The night"

5. You (feat. Dwele): This song is just beautiful. If you're a R&B fan than you'll love this song with two of the genre's most talented singers. As one YouTuber put it, "this is what happens when vocals make love".

Chorus: "One look at you, you see right through me, you know my moods, you know what I'm thinking, feel what I'm feeling, cause you're my best friend, true."

6. Catch 22 (Original Vesion): This song is so full of soul and true pain of indecision when it comes to love, so much so that you can feel her tortured indecision in every word of the song. This one brings you into her world and her pain, so you'll want to be sure that you're in the mood for it before you give it a listen.

Lyrics: "How many times does it take to learn just one thing, 'cause I keep ending up here, And I'm not a scientist so I just keep on praying that I won't, Keep getting the same results each day, I said that I can't be with you, But when you turn away I pull back your hands to stay, (your hands to stay), So many days turn to years, That brought us here, And we (shied) through time without too many tears, But we still made decisions creating divisions, So many contradictions, Why didn't we listen?"

7. Butterflykisses: Another seductive song on the album that seduces you into relaxation. Her vocals are reminiscent of older Sade in parts. Play this when you're just starting to fall for someone new because this is probably exactly how you're feeling.

Lyrics: "Now that you're here, My visions clear, I'm drenched in love. Fly like a dove, And walking through my life with you, Is a blessin oh so sweet"

8. Things Don't Exist: This song is reminiscent of both older Whitney and a little of Billie Holiday. Yes, I know- what a combo! Her vocals on this are hauntingly beautiful and take you away from wherever you are to bring you on her journey of heartbreak and her attempt at breaking away from a lover.

Lyrics: "In my fear, I fear, We're seas apart in old worlds. We began, In vibrant colors, But one of the things you said, And i dread it. That everything turns grey, This is where i stray"

9. Salvation: Easily, the bluesiest track on the entire album with a simple bass line and keys that let her vocals shine. This one is the obligatory "struggle" song, every great R&B artist has a few in their repertoire and this one is one of Goapele's about feeling the pressures of the world and looking for salvation.

Lyrics: "I can feel the pain, The world is resting on my brain, I can feel the hurt of a broken child, She's going insane, I pray that she'll make it home"

10. It Takes More: A more hip-hop beat than the other tracks on the album with a wonderful message about how we all ignore the kids on the streets that turn to poor choices because they were never taught what the right choices were because their parents were too busy living their own wasted lives. If we take the time to get to know him or care, then we as a community could have taught him better choices in life and reverse the damage before it's too late.

Lyrics: "All his life, He heard "You won't amount to nothing", Low expectations, In need of money, Few too many choices, And no patience, So what do you know, For a good cash flow, You can always sell, It's easy to fit the role, But when your living the fast life, He considered all times a go"

Listen to this: after a hard day, when you're going through any emotions dealing with a relationship, or when you're in the mood for a good R&B album.

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January 28, 2011
This is an oldie but goodie! The song "Closer" is one of my favorites! I was in a Beauty Pageant a few years ago and they played "Closer" for our evening wear portion, it was great! Have you heard the remix with Drake?
January 28, 2011
What a cool beauty pageant! I just listened to the Drake remix, that man surprises me, when he does it for music, he's pretty good but, when he sells out, he sucks lol. To me, it's always a toss- I either like him (like this remix) or hate him (like most of his commercial stuff).

There's a bunch out there, I love this one as far as hip-hop goes by Illa B:
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