A Youthful Glow
Sonya Kitchell’s debut, Words Come Back To Me, is soulful, folksy, and sophisticated. She’s got great instincts and possesses a certain grace and maturity that belies her age of 17. Much of the music seems influenced by many before her, like Joni Mitchell and Phoebe Snow. Kitchell’s found her own voice with surprisingly mature lyrics and compositions. Each song feels honest and bittersweet, like the stories Kitchell describes. She explains in the lilting “Simple Melody,” “Sorrow sets inspiration free…I laugh I cry it’s all the same.”
The piano driven, jazz influenced “I’d Love You,” describes the complexities of unrequited love. The melody is breezy and playful, but the lyrics aren’t. “I’d love you if you wanted me to… I might give up/Tell me would you notice anyway?”
The melancholy “Jerry” describes a man in love with a woman who has left him to escape a working class life. “Cold Day” is touching and emotionally resonant. Kitchell sings, “He wipes away his tears/He’ll have no fears/And no one will know how hard he tries…Can I hold you in my arms/And help you forget the fear?” A strumming guitar accompanies her soft voice.
Upbeat tracks like the jazzy “Train,” a journey about a subway ride, and “Let Me Go” show Kitchell’s more playful side. The latter sounds much like Joss Stone singing a Van Morrison tune. It’s fun but never frivolous as Kitchell grooves, “You gotta let me make mistakes/Give time/Out on my own.”
Kitchell’s first outing may not be ground breaking, but it’s completely enjoyable. It’s probable there will be plenty to look forward to from Sonya Kitchell.