Hailed by the LA Times as a "fascinating performer," Kitchell (just sixteen) has already built a formidable reputation both as a performer and recording artist. This collection of twelve original songs, penned by Kitchell,... more » represents a stunning debut by a remarkable young artist, blending pop, jazz, folk and blues into a thing of soulful beauty. Sonya has been selected as the Hear Music Debut artist for 2006, which will make "Words" simultaneously available at each of the 5,500 Starbucks locations in the US and Canada.« less
Hailed by the LA Times as a "fascinating performer," Kitchell (just sixteen) has already built a formidable reputation both as a performer and recording artist. This collection of twelve original songs, penned by Kitchell, represents a stunning debut by a remarkable young artist, blending pop, jazz, folk and blues into a thing of soulful beauty. Sonya has been selected as the Hear Music Debut artist for 2006, which will make "Words" simultaneously available at each of the 5,500 Starbucks locations in the US and Canada.
"Avril arrived at 18 powered by the song writing juggernaut The Matrix. And Norah Jones broke thru at 21 with four songs by tunesmith Jesse Harris. And then here comes Sonya Kitchell at 17 writing all her own material. Just what does she think she is doing??
Easy: she is successfully channeling a short fast lifetime of influences as diverse as Bill Withers and Joni Mitchell; Ella Fitzgerald and Nick Drake. She is spinning beautiful narrative, emotional truth and fleshed out characters all in a smoky contralto. And then she is turning around and crushing you with effortless pop hooks. All while putting goose bumps on your arm.
Watching her grow, it's worth the investment
J. S. Matias | 07/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being an old college friend with her drummer, I was often invited to the first appearances Sonya had in NYC, first with Kaki Khan and then on her own. You can see the progression with her lyrics, vocals, style. It's a pleasant CD, something you can put on that has that, sure, Norah Jones type style, but in fact is not Norah. Hearing someone else's take on a style is always enjoyable. Sonya is also well worth a trip to see her live. Her casualness is a great thing and the band is full of young great musicians. Sure I may be a an old friend of the drummer but the singer still has to win my approval if I'm going to keep going to the shows. I still keep going."
A Young Woman with an Old Soul
John C. Bergeron | Saint Paul, MN United States | 07/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I and most of my friends were still learning how to parallel park at 16, Sonya Kitchell was writing and performing these stunningly beautiful songs, filled with sophistication, deep introspection and a profound understanding of the human heart: "...Life can be such a give or take/Some laugh while they're dying, some cry when they wake" (Words). Or, "Happiness has been good to me/but sorrow sets inspiration free" (Simple Melody). If this release is any indication, then Ms. Kitchell has experienced, either personally or through the lives of those close to her, decades worth of happiness and sorrow in her brief time on earth. I've listened to this record seven or eight times now, and I keep going back and forth between focusing on the music and the words; each serves the other so well. And yet, for all of the brilliance of this release, nearly everything I've read about Sonya Kitchell says that to see her and her wonderful band live is to truly appreciate her artistry. She's touring as I write this, so check her out, and if you haven't heard her yet, do yourself a huge favor and buy this cd; it's sure to be only the first of many great records from this old young woman."
The One to Watch
Grace E. Sumner | 06/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sonya Kitchell may be young in age but she is clearly an old soul. I saw her for the first time over a year ago in New Orleans opening for Martin Sexton and she immediately became one of my favorite artists. Her voice on this album has an intimate Norah Jones quality but having seen her live I know she has the pipes to belt it out in true blues/rock form, and I look forward to more of that in future albums. My favorite Sonya songs ("Words" at the moment) have a wonderful warmth and depth that sneak up on you when you find yourself singing them in the middle of the day. And its just so endearing that, unlike so many young artists, she hasn't become too self-serious (ahem, "secret" track). She has more clear star capability than anyone I've seen, check her out and you'll see what I mean."