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Members of group brought together by music producer Lewis Martinee, in Miami, Fla., 1986; Ann Curless, born c. 1965; Gioia Bruno (one source says Carmen, another goes strictly by Gioia), born c. 1965, married, one daughter Briana; Jeanette Jurado, born c. 1966. Addresses: Record company --Arista Records, 6 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.
Pop group Expose made a stunning entrance on the music scene with their 1986 debut album, Exposure. The trio, composed of singers Ann Curless, Gioia Bruno (who uses only her first name professionally), and Jeanette Jurado, broke a record previously held by rock superstars the Beatles for most Top 10 singles from a first album with four hits--"Come Go with Me," "Point of No Return," "Exposed to Love," and "Seasons Change." They followed this impressive start with 1989's What You Don't Know, scoring smashes with the title track and with the ballad, "When I Looked at Him."
The members of Expose did not come together in the usual way--friends deciding to form a band. Instead, Miami, Florida-based music producer Lewis Martinee wanted to create a group, and he continues to write most of the songs for the trio. Initially he had chosen three other women to become Expose, and had already made some recordings for an album, but, as People magazine reported, "one original member quit and two were fired."
Curless, Gioia, and Jurado were all singing lead for different local club bands when Martinee recruited them as replacements. Jurado recounted for People: "It still strikes me like a dream. When you're working in clubs, you always think, 'Someone will walk in, like me and make me a star.' And that's what happened." Though brought together somewhat artificially, according to People the three women, who share lead vocal responsibilities, claim to be the best of friends now that they have found fame.
Being based in Miami, much of Expose's music has a Latin flavor to it. They have been compared to salsa-spiced pop star Gloria Estefan and her Miami Sound Machine, but also to singers like Madonna and Deborah Harry. "Each member of the trio," asserted Alanna Nash of Stereo Review, "is a strong vocalist." But Expose, despite their huge success with pop and dance music fans, are not entirely the darlings of music critics. Ralph Novak, reviewing Exposure in People, complained that some of the group's material was "undeniable disco fodder." He did, however, concede that Expose's mixture of "Latin touches" with pop produced "often invigorating results," and concluded of the trio: "There is a lot of talent in evidence."
Expose's second album, What You Don't Know, was delayed by legal battles, probably concerning the singers that Martinee had first hired to form the group. When it finally came out in 1989, Nash declared: "They'll love it in Europe, and probably on dance floors all across America." True, the title track--which made the Top 10--is an up-tempo dance number, but another hit from What You Don't Know, "When I Looked at Him," is a slow, romantic ballad. Again, though Expose's 1989 effort has raced up the charts, it has not passed the reviewers unscathed. Even Nash's critique was mixed; she complained of repetitiveness in the material and felt the lyrics were immature. David Hiltbrand was even more harsh in People, calling the album "dizzyingly superficial dance music," and dismissing "When I Looked at Him" as sounding "like something the cat dragged in with some reluctance." Yet he recognized that Expose was "giving the kids what they want to hear."
The trio, however, is undaunted by criticism, and takes pride in their work. Jurado announced to People: "We can work a crowd and get them going. We're the real stuff." Expose also tries to do their part with public service messages; the album sleeve of What You Don't Know is printed with the slogan "Just say no to drugs."
by Elizabeth Thomas
Recording artists and concert performers, 1986--.
- Albums; on Arista Records
- Exposure (includes "Come Go with Me," "Point of No Return," "Exposed to Love," and "Seasons Change"), 1986.
- What You Don't Know (includes "What You Don't Know" and "When I Looked at Him"), 1989.
- People, March 30, 1987; August 28, 1989; December 4, 1989.
- Stereo Review, October 1989.
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