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CD REVIEW: BETH HART – Better Than Home

| 12 April 2015 | Reply

CD REVIEW: BETH HART – Better Than Home
Mascot Records
10 April, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Beth Hart - Better Than Home cover

Beth Hart opens her stunning new album with Might As Well Smile, simultaneously a reminder to herself of the power of smiling in the face of adversity, and not to repeat the mistakes of her past. These themes – along with love and self-belief – run strong through the album.

Hart’s voice dominates Better Than Home – bold, emotive and quite astonishing at times. What she brings to the near-spiritual Tell ‘Em To Hold On and the ‘60s R&B of Tell Her You Belong To Me is unique.

Far from a tale of a love triangle, this latter track relates the ultra-personal true story of her stepmother trying to ban all contact between the young Hart and her father. The power of her anguish, pain and determination are all there in her incredible performance.

Clean and sober and warmly protected in the embrace of love Hart may be, but she’s not become a shrinking violet just yet. Her turn on Trouble brings to mind classic blues belters like Big Mama Thornton: no-one writes songs like this any more.

Continuing the personal theme is Better Than Home, Mama This One’s For You and Mechanical Heart, all of which explore the complicated relationships in her life, or the love she’s found with former road manager Scott Guetzkow.

Guetzkow’s influence cannot be understated on Hart: instead of spiralling into darkness she is embracing the light in all things, and Better Than Home is the result: a career highlight.

Category: CD Reviews

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