Beth Hart pours out blues from her soul, the album is a tribute to a survivor who has come out the other side and can feel the warmth of sunshine in their life. The eleven tracks are retrospective that refuses to drown but floats in musical glory that defines Beth Hart the performer. Better Than Home is a celebration of life’s stony road every person that Beth has walked across as she has faced many difficulties including Bipolar disorder and her sister’s death she has studied polished and turned into a gem of a track that reaches out deep into the listeners own psyche. Be expected to be hit by an onslaught of emotionally charged lyrics when you least expect it as Better Than Home gets under your skin.
Every track is a glittering jewel that is pretty on the surface but underneath there are lyrics as gritty as the earth gems are pulled from, the mix of her sultry vocals that squeal and spit out the words, with melody lines played by tuneful piano and rhythmic bass lines. Opening with Might As Well Smile the tone is set with the big horn introduction that gives Beth the foundation to build with the voice that is pure emotion that spills out and captivates. Followed by nine more tracks before closing with the Bonus track Mama This One’s For You, with the perfect combination of Beth on Piano and her voice reaching out to her Mama in a deeply personal song that touches your heart as the album draws to a close the journey is at an end emotions and experiences picked over as Beth shares her personal demons, fears and shining hope.
In between there are songs that nestle in and belong to the album as a whole, including Tell Her You Belong to Me a song of love and desire, her voice takes on an aching tone of simmering lust in this stripped down number as she sings an entirety to her lover, all pride set aside. The title track, is a promise “I am not afraid or lonely / I am not chasing the ghost of the past” and is the centre piece of the album. The piano is perfect as the intro to St. Teresa and the gentle uplifting vocals that rise above the piano as the story unfolds in this deeply reflective number as a funky soulful number The Mood That I’m In. This is a track where the emotions are thrown to the wind and the band has fun, but the shape of the album is maintained with, instead of a guitar solo, a change of vocal tone and a vocal solo then the tempo is picked up letting her stretch her powerful and flexible tubes. We have a letter that allows Beth explore love in Mechanical Heart, this has a wonderful orchestral background , the lushness of the strings tugging at your heartstrings as the words tumble out this is Beth at her cathartic best as her voice stretches higher and higher.
Better Than Home, is a musical onslaught of power, charged feelings, souls bared on this is, a journey that shines with the glittering hardness of a polished diamond. Beth is a singer and musician who writes what she wants to say, takes no prisoners as her onslaught through music delivered by a tuneful sledgehammer of power combined with poetic lyrics that takes your breath away and leaves you energised with hope. Beth continues to grow and this is an album that soars above her contemporaries delivering blues that touch the heart.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Might As Well Smile
2. Tell ‘Em To Hold On
3. Tell Her You Belong To Me
5. Better Than Home
6. St. Teresa
7. We’re Still Living In The City
8. The Mood That I’m In
9. Mechanical Heart
10. As Long AS I Have A Song
11. Mama This One’s For You