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Music Review: Kate Voegele – Don’t Look Away

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There’s just something about a girl who plays guitar. When that girl also sings with passion and writes some quality songs, the impression resonates even more. With her debut album, Don't Look Away, twenty-one year old singer/songwriter Kate Voegele exceeds all such criteria, signaling the arrival of a promising new artist.

With qualified craft and conviction, Voegele imparts an astute pop sensibility while, at the same time, enveloping the energy of rock and roll. Her voice compares to those of contemporaries like Michelle Branch and Anna Nalick, yet Voegele’s overall sound – vocals and music – suggests some veteran and sonically edgier influences. Thus, one can hear traces of Fleetwood Mac and Linda Ronstadt, but also of Pat Benatar and Heart. In her own way and when she’s at her most affecting, Voegele offers what such predecessors delivered in their relative primes: songs as solid in composition as they are in expression.

The tracks that best achieve this balance are ones with well-defined melodies or hooks, as well as strong, compelling vocals. On rockers like “Might Have Been” and “I Get It,” Voegele sings with sass and assertion, her voice matching the intensity of their punchy, guitar-driven grooves. She demonstrates soulful and emotional depth on “I Won’t Disagree” and “Kindly Unspoken,” both songs sobered by a piano’s melancholic tone. And with “Top of the World,” she parlays comparable depth yet with layered harmonies and more rhythmic intimations.

Her creative diversity and versatility pay off the most on “Only Fooling Myself” and “It’s Only Life,” which respectively combine melodic and harmonic elements of pop with the thrust and substance of rock to yield equally stirring and powerful performances.

With Don't Look Away, Kate Voegele has begun to carve out her own niche as a unique singer/songwriter. She exhibits confidence grounded in talent, ambition, and effort. Such attributes make for an impressive debut album and suggest even better music to come.

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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Marr, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Rickie Lee Jones, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.
  • jessica

    i love Kate Vogele she has a awesome voice and she has an magnificent talent at such a young age you are awesome Kate

  • stacie

    oh my gosh your voice, is so amazing i’m sure thta you hear that all the time most people don’t think so and that is there loss cause you are very talented no matter what anyone say’s so keep doin’ what you do and do it like no one has ever seen. you don’t want to go out not let anyone not notice you, your aawsome no matter what you should look me up some time and maybe i’ll show you whta i’ve got, and your songs have brought me so far you don’t even know. i wish i can live my dreams as you did on one tree hill and that guy jason that you were in the band with before you met peyton and haley he juss kept on puting you down but you never gave up and when you sang “NO GOOD” my heart just dropped and i bet you felt like, happy or a really big word that i don’t know but on well juss keep your head held up high and do whta you do ttyl l8ter

  • Olive:::

    I love all of her music and she was great on One Tree Hill. i can’t wait to hear more.:::

  • # – Kirrsty,,

    I LURRRVE her voice, i feel as if it has changed my life .. i only know her from the program series OTH .. One Tree Hill,, but she is fantastic keep up the gurrd work 🙂

  • Mark

    Great review btw!
    but everyone agrees her voice is fantastic,so unique too.every song on the album is great and her songwriting skills are epic!!!
    I cannot wait ’til her next album!!!!

  • Katie

    u were gr8 on one tree hill!!

  • jackie

    i love kate voegele,duh. ever since i first heard “Kindly Unspoken” i fell inlove with her voice. it is a shame that not alot of poeple in my town have heard of her, buut that is so their loss. p.s. i love one tree hill