Don’t Look Away
With the release of this phenomenal debut record and armed with more pipes than an Alaskan oil line (think Christina Aguilera without the yodel or Alanis Morrisette without the crazy), Kate Voegele is ready to ascend to her rightful position as the Queen of Teen Music. But to throw such a jejune and inaccurate label on this wonderfully talented artist would unfairly diminish the maturity and depth of this thoughtful collection of well crafted songs. Don’t Look Away (MySpace / Interscope Records) is an assemblage of “pick yourself up by your boot straps” empowerment songs that are delivered with remarkable soul and passion.
Her astonishing and sudden rise to fame was assisted by MySpace founder Tom Anderson, who was on the lookout for talent to start his MySpace record label. At the same time producers for the television show One Tree Hill were doing the same thing to support a musical story line that they were introducing to the show. They were so impressed, not only by her music but with Kate herself, that they auditioned and ultimately chose her to play the character Mia (an aspiring singer) for an episode arc on the show. Timing, as they say, is everything, and after her first appearance on the show, her album gained a 2000 percent increase in sales as well as concert promoter interest.
The album’s title, Don’t Look Away, reflects Kate’s own take on confronting life’s inevitable challenges directly. The delicate “It’s Only Life” is a surefire hit that helps to convey that mantra with a pinch of fatalistic sarcasm. “Wish You Were Here,” a song already made popular from its One Tree Hill exposure, successfully wordplays the sometimes crushing difference between one’s desire and inescapable reality with the line, “I’m still in love with who I wish you were/ and I wish you were here.”
“Kindly Unspoken,” the album’s closer, has a gospel inspired piano/vocal that showcases Kate’s powerful range and an uplifting message of resilience. But it’s not all woulda-shoulda introspection and remorse. Bonafide rockers like “Chicago,” “One Way Or Another,” “Devil In Me,” “No Good,” and “I Won’t Disagree” keep things moving along quite nicely and help to spotlight a voice that’s been described as a “religious experience” by the multitudes of her loyal and expressive fans.
Inspired by a love of ’70s folk and alt-country music, Kate’s music has an earthy texture to it but also a sophisticated and polished craftsmanship that separates her work from many of today’s singer-songwriters. “Only Fooling Myself” is the first single released and the reason for that selection was probably because they couldn’t find a thirteen sided coin to flip. There are actually so many potential hits here that showcasing them all properly to the public just might delay her sophomore release a bit longer than originally intended.
Kate Voegele is poised to become one of music’s brightest talents, so keep an eye on her and “Don’t Look Away” for a moment because that’s how most shooting stars are missed.
Kate is currently on tour supporting Don’t Look Away with Natasha Bedingfield and The Veronicas. Please visit the following sites for more information about Kate Voegele and her current tour.