15 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sixteen year-old Sonya Kitchell emerged as a remarkably mature singer/songwriter on her 2006 debut album Words Came Back to Me. In its tracks, she invokes a host of influences (ranging from Van Morrison to Bonnie Raitt and Beth Orton) while making her music sound like a process of discovery. Kitchell’s supple, smoky-toned vocals suggest Norah Jones with more heft and emotional commitment — her surprisingly rich lower range is particularly beguiling. Her lyric focus shifts from poetic musings (“Tinted Glass”) to poignant character studies (“Jerry”) and old-school romantic effusions (“Think of You,” “I’d Love You”). Aided by Steve Addabbo’s crisp production, she turns “Let Me Go” into a sultry retro-soul excursion and fills “Simple Melody” with soft, pastel-like shadings. She seems equally comfortable with billowy, impressionistic tracks like “Train” and snappy bits of ear candy like “No Matter What.” Though they seem worldly-wise at times, there’s an overall sense of innocence to these songs that enhances their appeal. Words Came Back to Me is the work of an artist testing her wings and soaring amazingly high.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sixteen year-old Sonya Kitchell emerged as a remarkably mature singer/songwriter on her 2006 debut album Words Came Back to Me. In its tracks, she invokes a host of influences (ranging from Van Morrison to Bonnie Raitt and Beth Orton) while making her music sound like a process of discovery. Kitchell’s supple, smoky-toned vocals suggest Norah Jones with more heft and emotional commitment — her surprisingly rich lower range is particularly beguiling. Her lyric focus shifts from poetic musings (“Tinted Glass”) to poignant character studies (“Jerry”) and old-school romantic effusions (“Think of You,” “I’d Love You”). Aided by Steve Addabbo’s crisp production, she turns “Let Me Go” into a sultry retro-soul excursion and fills “Simple Melody” with soft, pastel-like shadings. She seems equally comfortable with billowy, impressionistic tracks like “Train” and snappy bits of ear candy like “No Matter What.” Though they seem worldly-wise at times, there’s an overall sense of innocence to these songs that enhances their appeal. Words Came Back to Me is the work of an artist testing her wings and soaring amazingly high.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Cainaan ,

Awesome Debut

Saw a review of this album on Popmatters and went out and bought the album (the CD artwork is worth having). An amazing debut for one so young -- with thoughtful, insightful lyrics. Think a calmer Fiona Apple with a wisp of Norah Jones. Wish more of our current stable of young "musicians" could be this good!

doozer4200 ,

Utterly Gorgeous


I heard Sonya at a Joni Mitchell tribute concert this past winter, at Carnegie Hall, and I was utterly blown away by her voice. Amazing range-- rich and soulful in the lower register, sweet and haunting on the high notes.

I bought "Cold Day" and eagerly awaited "Words Came Back to Me," which more than lived up to expectations ... particularly "Train," "Words," and "Too Beautiful." "Jerry" actually had me in tears, and "Little Brother" is just fantastic.

If you enjoy the folk/rock/jazz/soul spectrum ... enjoy! Can't wait to hear... MORE!!!

Shawno ,

Holy Moses!

This young woman has soul. Sweet soul, like I haven't heard for years. Only heard it once, but I have a feeling about this album like I did when I first heard Norah Jones and John Mayer. Many layers of complexity here, not just one style of singing or musical composition. I look forward to listenging to this one over and again until her next one. There's much to look forward to from Sonya Kitchell.

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