Music Review: Kate Earl

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.

Make sure to check her out for yourself on her MySpace music page, or on iTunes and Amazon where you can download the CD right now for just $5.99!