Sonja Kristina,
Sonja Kristina
(Market Square, 2006)

Sonja Kristina's self-titled CD continues the worthwhile contribution of Market Square in reissuing material for a new generation as well as reigniting the interest of the original fans of great music from the past. The material was recorded in 1980, but such was the innovation of Sonja and her fellow musicians over a quarter century ago that this album sounds like one written and produced yesterday.

Kristina almost defies classification. Her talent and delivery range over a number of genres. There are jazz feels to some tracks and distinct new age vibes -- in the best sense of that phrase -- on others. Throughout the 13 songs on offer -- including three bonus tracks -- she maintains a high standard of performance and an inspired choice of material.

Much of the material is new but fans of Spirit will enjoy her take on "Mr Skin." In particular, I liked her interpretation of the Bacharach classic "Walk on By." The bonus tracks recall her origins with the band Curved Air as they form the only record of a reunion of the group in 1984 and, as such, will be of great interest to fans of the band.

The album may not get the airplay required to produce hits, but it is one worth seeking out for its eclectic mixture of sounds. Enjoy this as a reminder that "cool" music did not originate in the 21st century.

by Nicky Rossiter
9 September 2006

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