Katy Pfaffl,
Katy Pfaffl
(Liilaa, 2001)

The beginning is languorous. Sensuous. And then Katy Pfaffl breaks into wild abandon, an elation-filled chorus for "My Favorite Place," where "I am free/Screaming at the top of my lungs...."

It's a beautiful start to Pfaffl's debut CD. And the album lives up to that great first impression. Pfaffl, a jazz-tinged singer-songwriter from New York, is expressive and enthusiastic, strongly voiced and incredibly gifted when it comes to writing lyrics about love, lust, memories and dreams, afterglow and heartbreak. There is beauty here, optimism and wistfulness.

"Sea of Change" shares a bit of the wrenching feeling of moving on: "But I'd lie/If I told you/That I wouldn't miss you/Or love you/The rest of my life,/And I'd lie/If I told you/That I could dismiss/All your doubting/That cut like a knife,/So I tried/Not to enter the game,/Still I cried/At the thought of her name/As I hear her laughter/Echoing my pain...."

The self-titled album is packed with songs that are honest, open and memorable, and Pfaffl's spirited singing drips emotion. It's all too easy to be swept away by her moods, which are introspective but shy away from the all-too-common angst. Listen to "Mountains," "Will You Remember," "Disconnected" and "Everything Happens," and your day will change.

The outlook -- for both the album and Pfaffl's future -- is good.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 25 October 2003

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