Every so often a new solo artist comes around who seems to turn heads for more than one reason. 19-year-old Kendall Payne does just that. Her debut release, Jordan's Sister, is a mainstream Christian release on Capitol Records. At first listen, Payne's vocals sound professional, trained and confident. And this remains true with each following listen.
With a down-to-earth feel and a honest message, Kendall makes you feel like your listening to the thoughts and feelings of a friend. Her Tiffany Arbuckle (Plumb) meets Heather Miller meets Jennifer Knapp vocals give her pop/rock music a fresh feel. "Closer to Myself" introduces Kendall with a pop tune driven by acoustic and electric guitars and an organ. Her passionate vocals make her music intriguing and interesting to listen to. "Supermodels" flips the disc immediately with a sarcastic song attacking "pretty"/fake people. The style is heavily remeniscent of something that would have been heard on Hokus Picks mid-90s release, Brothers from Different Mothers. Her vocals are confident and far from whiney, while she gets her discontented point across. At times, her voice almost sounds like Jenny Gullen of the late Hoi Polloi. "Supermodels" over sound and feel make it an instant album highlight.
"Wonderland" causes a full spin once again and hits the listener with a soft ballad written to Alice, of, you guessed it, Wonderland. "Hollywood" picks up where "Supermodels" left off with it's pop/rock attack against the scene, while "Honest" does the same for "Wonderland." "It's Not the Time" picks up the beat again and easily forms another album highlight. "On My Bones" creates a really soft, comforting almost lullaby as Kendall talks to God and recognizes how He has brought her life in the midst of the world's destructive impressions.
Passionate, honest, and bold, Kendall Payne serves up a good debut with a variety of styles and topics that her peers and older will be able to relate to.- Review date: 6/12/00, written by John DiBiase
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