With four kids at three different schools, band practices, choir practices, youth group, cub scouts, and then just the general run-of-the-mill errands a mom of many must run, I am in the car A LOT. I can hardly abide by the same ol’ radio stations anymore, so when I get a chance to review new music, I take it!
I was recently able to review the music of a up-and-coming young twenty-something artist originally from Alaska, singer Kate Earl. Her self-titled debut is technically her sophomore effort, but her first CD to generate such wide play and appeal.
The quickest association I can make is to say that she reminds me a lot of Colbie Caillat. In fact, upon listening to the track “Melody” with me, my 15yo daughter wondered if it was Caillat herself. There’s at least one other track – “Nobody” – in which I think Kate Earl’s beautiful, stripped tone echoes that of the other singer. For the rest of the CD, though Earl establishes her own sounds and style.
Overall, I have very mixed feelings about this CD. While I think “Melody” is brilliant – something I consider a “life soundtrack” kind of song, meaning I think it will make it onto a lot of mp3 players and listened to with great reflection – and much of the songwriting is powerful (see “All I Want” and “Golden Street“), in general I feel Earl’s fabulous voice is overwhelmed by what some reviewers have called the “urban beat” of the sound mixing. It was a strange juxtaposition to hear her pure and solid voice buried under layers of thumps and chicks and snaps. I felt I would give anything to just have the filler peeled back so I could hear her.
As disjointed as I felt the CD was as a whole, I think there are greater things to come from Kate Earl, and that she is someone I will be watching for in the future.