Katy Benko -
CD Review: Cheryl
Reviewers have their own techniques for reviewing an album. I'm what you might call a background reviewer. Before I sit down at my desk to work, I grab a CD and put it in the player next to a note pad. If a song catches my attention while I'm working, I write down the artist's name, verbal cues for myself, the track number and then go back to work.
This morning I turned on my CD player, put in an album by newcomer Katy Benko, and went back to my desk to catch up on some paperwork. The first song that got my attention was an up-tempo little number titled "Walkin'." I wrote in my notes, "track one -- catchy lyrics -- nice/strong voice" and then something, that seldom happens while I'm reviewing an album, happened. Before I had a chance to get back to what I was doing, "If I Never Loved You" started to play and I stopped to listen again. I wrote in my notes, "track two -- powerful voice, great range, 'rimes/hill/womack'." Next came "Here With You" and on and on it went. I actually stopped what I was working on and listened to the entire album. At the end of the bonus track, "The Show," which was one of my favorite cuts, I wrote in my notes, "standing 'O' for Ms. B."
Benko says the legendary Patsy Cline inspired her when she was a child. Amazed at Cline's ability to put so much passion into a song, she became determined to learn how to sing with the same depth of feeling. As the fourteen songs on this album aptly demonstrate, she learned this lesson well. Plus some great musicians and dynamic instrumentals contribute to the overall quality of the album.
When she is preparing her play list for a concert, although ballads are her favorite, she starts and finishes with up-tempo songs since she aspires to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride. She apparently followed those same guidelines when selecting the songs for this album, An emotional roller coaster ride is an accurate analogy.
"There's no rising tide that I can't rise above if I let go of everything that holds me down -- and float ..." These lyrics from the title cut on just may prove to be prophetic. I have a feeling Ms. Benko, with obvious physical beauty that is equal to her vocal talent, is on her way to the top.