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Artist: Chaya
Label: Rickachay Records
Time:  13 Tracks / 59:12
Released: 2005
The CD Life features the raspy alto voiced singer Chaya Pitcher from Rancho Murieta California. She has a voice that reminds you of Melissa Ethridge only set within a worship context.  The downside of this album is the production element simply does not match the vocals and lyrics. I don't want to belabor the point because as is the case with most emerging artists it simply boils down to financial resources. The reality is in the music industry tens of thousands of dollars make a big difference in the quality of a CD
Artist and producer, sorry Rick Pitcher (her husband) make a huge mistake when they take a sudden left turn after the best track on the album the opening one, "With You". This is an outstanding Blues tune written by Albert Perez. It features some outstanding guitar work by Angelo Santi.  Unfortunately Santi isn't given another opportunity to lay down the same deep grooves and the rest of the CD slows down. If you want my opinion (and maybe you don't) I wouldn't abandon your worship songs but I would certainly mix in a lot more Blues because Chaya this will become your bread and butter if you are willing to take the risk.
Instrumentally Mike Salazar's drumming is a treat because he proves that less can indeed be more. There are no clashing cymbals or hi-hats constantly trembling in fright. I am still not sure if I heard the use of a kick drum. Simply put Salazar does a good job of accompanying the singer instead of stealing the spotlight. Chaya plays piano and her chops are both appropriate and good. Chaya, Salazar and Santi are strong on their instruments. The rest of the cast are adequate but the focus for Life is clearly on vocals and words. 
My first reaction to the song "America" was this is pretty depressing and melancholy despite Chaya's beautiful vocals. The more I thought about the words however I realized that what these lyrics are is honest. This is a song that calls the country to repentance both as a nation and as individuals. It is not a song of condemnation but in true prophetic fashion it paints us towards what could be, what should be.
The first time a child's voice provides an interlude it is endearing; however as it keeps repeating itself throughout the CD it becomes tedious and annoying. The liner notes indicate the voice of the three year old belongs to Chaya so I am not sure is of her as a child or not. 
Would I buy the album? I don't think so. Would I go see her in concert? I think it would depend on whether or not I could be sure more songs like "With You" were going to be performed.

By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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