Sonya Lorelle,
The Life You Wanted
(independent, 2005)

Listening to Sonya Lorelle, I found a mixture of intoxicating sounds -- pure, unadulterated jazz and soul with a touch of the Brazilian and Americana.

Her lyrics remind me of a person searching for the ultimate pinnacle in life -- soul searching, love seeking and life revelations. She uses this effectively in songs such as "I'm OK," where she wails with the aid of a Kenny G/Candy Dulfer saxophone. "Lost So Long" is a jazzy/Brazilian number in the vein of Basia and Matt Bianco. "Be the One" has a Carole King feel with a Motown twist. "Crush" is a kind of Blaxploitation disco tune and Sonya makes it work by performing it with her heart and never includes any vocal gymnastics just for effect.

Although you can hear all Sonya's influences in her music, she remains distinctly original.

Sonya is a proper chanteuse who knows how to use her instruments, both her voice and the piano, and to intertwine them in a way that enhances her singing and keyboard work. I think she has a great future ahead of her, especially if this is the kind of work she is aspiring to.

by Risa Duff
9 September 2006

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