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Candy Sanders Gangster Of Love CD Cover
Image © 1998 Sweet Sound Music 

(17 April 2000) Candy Sanders' debut album Gangster Of Love (Sweet Sound Music (USA), CMC1998, 1998) is comprised of twelve alternative rock tracks, sung in a Kate Bush, maybe even Michelle Young, theatrical style. From Staten Island, NY, Candy has been a celebrated performer since the age of three! Her voice certainly combines the qualities of Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper and Natalie Imbruglia. In addition to recording, Candy has performed in Broadway shows, off-Broadway, Cabaret Clubs, Musical Reviews, Summer Stock and Dinner Theatres. She also has her own Cable Television series called Candy's Music Club which has just won three Nova (Notable and Outstanding Video Achievement) awards. She has also won numerous other entertainment industry awards. Lots of further information is available at her website. With all tracks written by Candy herself, this debut album runs just under an hour.

The album opens with the rocking "Hell To Pay," a track with soaring lead vocals, clearly illustrating the artist's prowess and stylistic similarity to Kate Bush. The underlying instrumental reminded us of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." "Black & White Blues" and "Don't Stop" are moving blues numbers with sparse instrumentation, crisp percussion and evocative solo vocals. The track "Little Pieces (Candy Mix)" has a new wave structure but has soaring vocals a la Kate Bush—the similarity of sound is daunting. As implied by two of the titles, the club mix of "Little Pieces," "Dancin'" and "Diamond Cutter" are club-oriented tracks with lots of percussion, eery instrumentation, and the most evocative, sensual vocals.

The album's title track continues in a similar vein; here crisp percussion and light instrumentation accompany Candy's Betty-Boop—think Cyndi Lauper—like vocals. The vocals in "Midnite Lover" are similar but the song has a lovely melody and a catchy chorus. "Funky Stuff" is more heavily arranged instrumentally; bluesy in its construction, the vocals lie in between the Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper styles, soaring evocatively at times. A lovely moving ballad entitled "One Kiss" is a highly accessible almost 60s love song effectively combining instrumental and vocal arrangements. The album concludes with "Italian Girl," a highly accessible and sensitively sung rock number.

Candy Sanders' music should be further explored by those that enjoy the music of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper. Her album can be obtained via her website and you can hear sound samples at her mp3.com website. This first album, featuring Candy's own tracks and stunning vocal work is worth a journey. For Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper enthusiasts, it is a must listen!

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