27 September 2019 (released)
30 September 2019
I first discovered Beth Hart when she duetted with Joe Bonamassa a good few years back and ever since I have followed her career with a real passion.
I don’t think there is anyone around who can combine playing deeply emotional and harshly personal songs with out and out rockers – her songs really touching the souls of her many followers.
It’s been a few years since her last studio album and this feels like her most personal statement yet.
She has made no secret of a difficult upbringing, problems with addiction and the loss of family members, including estrangement from her father, and recently her battles with bipolar disorder and this album certainly does not gloss over anything but it isn’t any kind of a downer of an album.
Even when she is singing of the ‘War In My Mind’ with her tremulous voice and simple piano figure at the very front of the mix, it doesn’t reek of desperation as it might in the wrong hands.
The production by Rob Cavallo is remarkable, really bringing her to the fore and making her songs the focus of the recording. He has created the sense of a small stage, spotlight on Hart at the piano, expanding the scope where necessary but really letting ‘Beth Hart’ really be the story all through.
The best tracks, for me, are those that lay her story and her soul bare. Songs such as ‘Sister Dear’ where she sings to the sister she lost at the age of 20 or the title track hit hardest and strongest.
The up tempo numbers still carry her personal story through from ‘Bad Woman Blues’ to ‘Try A Little Harder’ she still delivers emotional vocals and strong themes.
A dozen tracks and I really cannot thing of a single duffer – every song has impact and goes straight to a point in your heart. Beth Hart is a singer of remarkable strength and this album is going to be a monster onstage.