Kate Voegele’s “Don’t Look Away” is a major nod for things to come with this talented female singer/songwriter. The album showcased Voegele’s outstanding talent as a vocalist AND as a songwriter, a fairly big deal these days as more and more solo artists are using co-writers. Voegele’s songs have a unique heartland sound and they almost have a country vibe to them. Her songs are similar to Ingram Hills in that respect. Her vocals are outstanding too she borrows a lot of ebbs/peaks from Michelle Branch but surprisingly her tone and her range are comparable to Shakira. The strong mix of vocal and song-writing surprises makes “Don’t Look Away” a solid debut.
Voegele does use some co-writing on this album, but in her case where she does use the co-writing that’s where the weak part of the album is. She uses the co-writes on “I Get It” (which is actually a decent track) and on tracks 6,7,8; “It’s Only Life”, “Might Have Been”, and “Facing Up.” While the three tracks just mentioned aren’t horrible songs, they don’t match up with the rest of the album in a lot of ways. On the three tracks Voegeleloses some of her roots-rock vibe and the music itself sounds like Voegele had nothing to do with it. The bottom line with these songs is simple: Voegele should do all of her songwriting. She’s better that way.
Look for Kate Voegele to become a big thing this year. She’s got a ton of talent as a singer and as a songwriter. On “Don’t Look Away” she flaunts both of those talents. Sure there are a few weaknesses here and there, but it is a debut album. This isn’t the only album we’re going to hear from Voegele. She’s got plenty of time for growth and truth be told she’s not that far away from the small/elite group of female singer/songwriters.