Sonya Cotton
"Out of the Ocean"

(Self-Released 2007)Sonya Cotton - Out of the Ocean

There are some albums that, when you listen to them, just float by. Albums that, when the music stops flowing from the speakers, you are surprised it is over so soon and that the entire album has played. "Out of the Ocean," the sophomore album from Sonya Cotton, is one of those albums. Cotton's weightless melodies are effortless, as is her wonderful and delicate voice in which she offers soft combinations of folk and country music.

Although instrumentation remains somewhat subdued throughout the album, Cotton's voice is never in competition for the focus. The slowly resonated chords on "Tumbleweeds" bring to mind a medieval minstrel as Cotton duets with Chris Kiehne, who produced the album. The warm, delicate melody on "Churchbells" is familiar and comforting, bringing to mind Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." Elsewhere, Cotton's voice is complemented by fuller melodic instrumentation and occasional background vocal harmonies. It is when this broader sound enters on "The Dim and the Dark Light" and "The Dying Light" that the songs really stand out while "The Light Around Your Legs" offers a different tone with a more upbeat melody.

While "Out of the Ocean" is made up of eleven songs, Cotton never dwindles or drags. This is not a woman who is about superfluous melodies. Indeed, she keeps the songs so short and concise that, from time to time, you may find yourself wishing Cotton had not ended a song so abruptly. Similarly understated is Cotton's voice, which remains natural and graceful on "Out of the Ocean," and her blend of folk and country, which is poised and polished.