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This Storm

92 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 2, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This Storm is an immediate and visceral album, dealing with serious issues with a newfound boldness. Kitchell, whose lyrics have been favorably compared to the poetry of e.e. cummings (Harp Magazine), touches on war, loss, and solitude in tracks like Soldier s Lament, Robin in the Snow, and Walk Away. There is also plenty of drive and backbeat to This Storm, from the sultry, roots-inspired rock of Borderline, to the indie-leaning Every Drop, and Fire, to the shimmering acoustic-alt-pop of Effortless and the first single, Here to There. Kitchell and Burn even leaven some electronic flourishes into the album s closer, the title track This Storm. Strikingly confident, and at times more aggressive and rock-focused, This Storm builds on the promise that marked her acclaimed debut. Recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris) at Burn s home studio in upstate New York, the new album is a showcase for Kitchell s prodigious talent and stunning voice.

From the Artist

"How I grew up had a huge impact on who I am as a person, the kind of music I make, and what I appreciate in life," Kitchell says. "It was this magical place in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by gorgeous landscape and acres and acres of land. One of my favorite things was to just go walking in the woods and write songs." "Herbie encouraged me as far as improvising goes and gave me the nod to go ahead and experiment," Kitchell says. "If he thinks I'm a good singer, that's a huge compliment and a pat on the back. It made me realize, `Okay, I can do this.' Each night he'd stretch out and improvise, and I'd stretch out and improvise. It was like this dance we did every night. And to do that with someone like Herbie Hancock makes you feel like you can do it with anyone." "I want people to feel excited when they hear the album," Kitchell says. "That ecstatic, elated feeling you get when something is so good that it makes you want to listen to it over and over again. I hope to create music that has as much of an effect on others as artists like Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, and Leonard Cohen had on me. I know that's setting the bar very, very high - but that's my goal."

Sonya Kitchell Photos


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 2, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B001ATO9EI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sanpete on September 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kitchell has a breathy, sultry, smoky, nimble voice, plays guitar, and writes her own songs reflecting a soul of indeterminate age (she's 19). Her vocals invite a range of comparisons. Joni Mitchell is an influence she's proud to own, though they have rather different voices. Her voice is a shade darker than Norah Jones', with more chestiness that gives it an interesting complexity. At different times she also makes me think of Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Jesca Hoop, even kd lang, and she likes to do a version of that "oh oh-oh oh" thing that Chrissie Hynde does on "Back on the Chain Gang."

She works here with producer Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith) and the Barr brothers from the Boston band The Slip. They bring together a variety of styles suggesting comparisons and labels from The Pretenders, The Band and The Rolling Stones to smooth jazz to alt-rock. There are jangly, peppy pop songs, a quiet ballad with Kitchell and her acoustic guitar, a flowing ballad with strings, a rocker with stinging electric guitar and rough vocals, all still smooth overall.

Taken together, it doesn't sound exactly like anything else. There's a note of refined discretion about it that feels a little confined to me (thus my little NPR snark). At the same time it's fresh and fun, mellow and moving. Four and a half stars, rounded up.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Nicholls TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As others have noted, This Storm has the quintessential "coffee house" feel to it. While that isn't an innately bad thing, it isn't an original thing, either.

Compared to Cold Day, This Storm may lead a person to think that Kitchell went on an extended sabbatical with Tori Amos and Joss Stone. To suggest that this album has "influences" is akin to saying that Amy Winehouse gets inebriated "from time to time".

Again, this isn't a *bad* album. But Kitchell tries too hard to delve in to areas she simply is not good at. Every Drop starts out like an early Imani Coppola song, and winds up as a folk-goth-pop hybrid which, while interesting, isn't good. Borderline starts with a heavy pop sound, but goes absolutely nowhere. From there to Soldier's Lament, you have some Starbuck's background music -- stuff you don't really notice or care about, but which has the decency to be inoffensive and totally uninteresting.

At Soldier's Lament, you're met with a decent acoustic track that's basically been done a thousand times before. Fortunately, this is followed up by four solid tracks. Clearly, the person who arranged this album decided to save the best for last, because "Effortless" and "So Lonely" do a commendable job of making up for the rest of the album's shortcomings.

All said, if you're already a fan of Sonya Kitchell, you'll probably enjoy the album. Fans will see "how she's grown as an artist" and will likely overlook the weaker tracks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ste VINE VOICE on December 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This album has a nice overall sound, and I find that I'm content to listen to it while I'm doing other things (cleaning, organizing, etc.). Most of these songs have a driving force behind them that for me is conducive to productivity.

That being said, I have never found myself thinking about these songs later, or humming them, or feeling compelled to open my computer just to listen to them. They feel more invented than inspired. Lyrically and musically they're very standard, so they're pleasing to the ear but not too intriguing or engaging if you're more of an active listener or someone who enjoys a more experimental style.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Morgan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first listened to this CD, I will confess that I did not like it. I did not like the melodies to which she sings, and I did not care for the overall "feel" of the music. Her voice is interesting, though, and I gave this CD more time.

As I have listened more I have started to like it a bit. There's a good variety of styles on here, most of it with a nightclub type of feel or maybe even indie, but it is not an appreciable diversion from what you hear on the radio. Some of the tracks are a bit coarse, others very breathy and sensuous, others just "different". There's enough variation in the styles she sings that the CD will keep you tuned in.

If I had to compare her to others, I would say her voice is comparable to Alana Davis and her style[s] similar to Cindy Alexander.

I will state plainly that this is not my favorite CD and I will not keep this one in the car to listen to on my commute every morning. That said, I will definitely listen to this one again. This is a good CD with good music on it, but it's not what I would look for when selecting music for my collection - it comes down to personal preference. Unfortunately this does not fall under my range of preferences.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Berry VINE VOICE on August 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sonya Kitchell's song and the way she sings reminds me a little bit of Jewel. The big difference is that with Jewel, you can actually understand what she is saying in the songs. I think the CD starts out very well with For Every Drop. From the beginning of the song, I was captivated by it. Sonya has this kind of gentle voice that allows the listener to feel like she is right there. Here is an overview of the songs and what I thought of it.

1. For Every Drop- there are some pop influences in this song and it's pretty catchy. Sonya is mumbling through the song mostly. I can pick up a few words every now and then but most of it, I am pretty confused as to what she is trying to say. As pretty as her voice is, it sounds almost like she's using her throat a lot to sing.
2. Borderline- This might be my least favorite song. Again, it is a song that gets mumbled through. There are some good elements to the song, however. It has some great beats and feel to it. However, the word "Come on" gets repeated so much and I am someone who highly dislikes repetitive lyrics in songs.
3. Running- This one is a slow song. I understand her better in this song than the last two. There is a little bit of country flair in the chorus. She never really seem to change the tone of her voice in her songs. It continues to be soft and there is no huge dynamic and this song shows that off especially.
4. Here To There- It is the same pretty voice again that is combined with a bit of folk and country music. This song is pretty light and has a positive vibe to it.
5. Walk Away- A slow song that is very soft and her voice is even softer. This song reminds me of something Joni Mitchell might do. The way that is sung is even reminiscent of Joni Mitchell.
6. Fire- An upbeat, funky song.
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