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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Just That Beautiful CD Cover
Image © Talitha Koum Music 2007

Ella G'Sell
Ella G'Sell
Image © Talitha Koum Music 2007

(15 March 2008) Los Angeles-based actress, indie singer songwriter, artist has released a diverse twelve-track debut album entitled Just That Beautiful (Talitha Koum Music (USA), 2007). She wrote all the songs and music on the album and collaborated on the music with Jon Sheltmire and she worked with Bret Larson on "Let The Sky." Ella is said to sound like Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Jewel, Portishead, and Fiona Apple "with a dash of love and a sprinkle of magic." Listen to several of the tracks from Ella's album at her MySpace page.

Ella was named after St. Elizabeth of Hungary and a song by the rock band Kiss. She was shy as a young girl and described as friendly in a true, unconditional manner. She found it easier to perform for thousands of people than hold a conversation with a single individual. Song gave her the confidence to grow into a strong woman which is certainly reflected in her compelling music. The album's diversity clearly demonstrates the petite woman's--she is 5'3" tall and weighs just 99 pounds--artistic development.

Raised in St. Louis, Ella attended the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Vocal Academy and performed professional musical theatre beginning at the age of twelve at The Muny Opera. She has toured all over North America and Europe, performing vocals and the flute. When she is not singing, Ella paints. She studied fine arts at the St. Louis Art Museum and had her work displayed in numerous gallery presentations. Her collection has been shown throughout the United States and often reflects her music in its visual imagery.

Ella is the founder and owner of "Pretty Pretty Party." Her organization, which she has been involved with for the past ten years, provides services at Children’s Hospital on holidays by performing character face paint parties, storytelling, dancing, singing, and other artistic entertainment for children. She has worked with children all her life through volunteer work, museums, circuses and private parties. Ella also has provided dance and voice lessons to hundreds of children in various venues. Ella takes pride in her quality shows and performers.

It is no wonder that her music has spirituality and evokes soulfulness and sincerity in her lyrics. Her music contains a theological basis and comes across as a recurring theme in her songs. Ella says, "I owe all of my songs to the people who have touched my life, whether for a short glimpse or as an old friend. Much love and know that you all have heaven within you."

Ella is busy in the studio as well as performing at various venues. She sings of life experiences and tells her story through her unique, peaceful and poignant musical compositions. She has a passion to her songs and sings of unity and hope. Her compassion for all people and all spiritualities is evident in her frank performances. "I love life and connecting with people in a honest & open way. I find music is a channel for such human truths, so that's what I do. My songs are a story of the experiences and the things I've learned in life. I invite you to take a listen and read the lyrics to my songs. It is a window into my heart and the core of my being. By sharing this with you, I hope it gives you healing, happiness, and a knowledge that we are all flawed and despite our imperfections, are all worth respect and love."

There is diversity throughout this album from the subtleties, tenderness and clarity of the title track to the fast-paced, melodic "Let The Sky." She lets loose with dynamic vocals in "Let The Sky" while maintaining the driving beat. In "Come To Me" she shows her vocal range, while she sings of her faith in humanity. There is richness in her vocals in this piece as she draws the listener into her story.

There is almost a quavering quality to her voice in "Put It Down." She appears as the troubadour in this almost dirge as the listener is drawn in by her lamenting tones. One of the beautiful tracks on this album is "Loved By An Angel." Ella's flowing and compassionate vocals highlight her expressive tones. She has a purity of sound that touches the soul. Another standout track is the evocative "One-Winged Angel." Her lush vocals intertwined with the exquisite orchestration creates a moving piece of music.

Her distinctive storytelling continues with fluid sounds of "Worship" and the bluesy "Repent." In "Soul on Fire" her expressive pronunciation creates a graceful segue into the stylish melody. Her emotive approach is certainly fitting in this soulful song. "Higher" has a wistful yet bluesy sound. She has wonderful deep and rounded tones as well as maintaining a playfulness in this song. She continues in this mode in "I Bled." There's a hint of the old black spirituals in her music with her deliberate and sometimes mournful tones.

Ella G'Sell has an honesty and passion to her music that comes through loud and clear. Ella's remarkable voice and meaningful storytelling in Just That Beautiful is inspirational. Her underlying spirituality is the foundation of her wonderful music. She sings with lovely clarity and depth of soul allowing the listener to feel the emotions in her lyrics and in her heart. Her touching music, both in word and instrumentation, are compelling, filled with tenderness. And, it is just that beautiful.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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