CD Review: Sonya Kitchell

Sonya Kitchell
Words Came Back to Me
By David Chiu

In the end, youth will never match experience; on the other hand, young Sonya Kitchell is blurring that fine line. If you didn’t know that she is 16-years-old, you could have swore she was a veteran singer/songwriter with several albums under her belt (Kitchell is already a seasoned pro having been on tour). Her remarkable debut album Words Came Back to Me reflects a maturity and wisdom beyond her age: These are songs that deal with people’s experiences with everyday insecurities, fear, longing, obstacles, and love. The last song “Jerry” might be one of the saddest, if beautiful, songs ever written in pop these days—about love lost and overcoming it. Stylistically, the album verges on jazzy soul (“Let Me Go”), blues (“Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind”), and folk (“Think of You”)—they are as gentle and assured as they are soul-searching. Kitchell’s understated and soulful vocals add to the folk and jazz sensibilities of her sound, which can somewhat be compared to Julia Fordham and Joni Mitchell. This is someone to watch out for.


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