Released: 1 June 2018
Label: Captured Tracks
Gabriella Cohen’s genre-shifting 'Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love' is a mosaic of homage, impromptu influences and her own psyche.
Published in The Skinny
An individual’s inherent qualities can stay out of sight for an entire lifetime to the casual onlooker. In the case of Gabriella Cohen – heralded as ‘Australia’s sweetheart’ – this much is true. However, when she fires up those vocal chords her punky disposition presents itself with a deadpan snarl. Her sophomore album Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love comes hot on the heels of her 2017 debut Full Closure and No Details, but the close succession of its release shows no signs of haste.
The recording of Cohen’s latest contribution to the realms of alt-rock was split between her home turf and a slew of locales worldwide while touring – Mexico, Portugal, West Coast California, et al. Her globetrotting is reflected in the genre-hopping from track to track with great nuance and admiration, while simultaneously injecting the album with a vile of spontaneity. Predominantly, this holds tightly as she manages to adopt the sounds of her inspirations without losing sight of her own character.
Constantly does Cohen surprise between the bookends. Lead single Baby skips by with its twitchy guitar and pop-rock hook before halting halfway and returning with a downbeat brass section. It is difficult to refrain from swaying to Miserable Baby’s ironic doo-wop and angelic backing vocals, despite its glum tale. And from the blues of Mercy to Morning Light’s switch-up between gospel and bossa nova, there are no checkboxes she leaves without her stamp.
The album is an intricate mosaic of homage, impromptu influences and Cohen’s own psyche. Rarely is a tile out of place, and on pulling back to view the work as a whole, it is a stunning portrait of an artist in her element.