With a sultry, jazzy voice and killer yet innocent charm, Theresa Sokyrka won the hearts of many Canadians during the summer of 2004. Following her runner-up finish on Canadian Idol, Sokyrka, like first season runner-up Gary Beals, was heavily expected to fade back into obscurity, to go back to performing her Jann Arden covers and Porgy and Bess show tunes in her native Saskatchewan. However, that wasn't meant to be. Sokyrka independently produced her debut album, entitled These Old Charms. While it's not actually a showstopping selection of earth-shattering folk tunes, Sokyrka's album is certainly "charming." Packed with jazz covers and originally penned folk jams, Sokyrka blends coffeehouse beats and homegrown scatting, her trademark skill, to present a personality-filled sampling. These Old Charms is not a shouty, ostentatious display; rather, it's a smooth and silky presentation of genuine, heartfelt musical craft. While the covers are only hit-and-miss, Sokyrka shines on the openers, "Angel Eyes" and "This Masquerade," allowing minimal arrangements to intellectualize the music. Unfortunately, while the music bears quiet quality, the music never really pops. The music is sweet yet it borders on saccharine, and by the end of the album when Sokyrka covers "Good Mother," she is practically cooing, and it succeeds in soothing the listener to sleep. This is a strong start by a budding independent artist. However, if Sokyrka wants to genuinely be considered a Canadian talent, her next album needs to have promotional merit; ultimately, the album is too indulgent.
These Old Charms Review
by Matthew Chisling