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Beth Hart has become one of my favourite female artists over the past year or two after she collaborated with Joe Bonamassa on an album "Don't Explain" I decided to check her back catalogue and was very impressed with her talent. She has carved a very respectable career for herself and has gained the respect of many in the Blues world including Joe Bonamassa of course after they got the chance to collaborate as they both record with mega producer Kevin Shirley. Today I reviewed her latest release which was out in 2012.
**Bang Bang Boom Boom**
This is the sixth solo studio album that Beth Hart has released and features eleven new tracks, She draws on her past struggles with addiction and lost love to create an album that is individual in content and delivery. Only the title track has been released as a single yet. She has enlisted a stellar band for the album with Anton Fig on drums, Michael Rhodes on bass, Arlan Schierbaum on keyboards and Randy Flowers on guitar.
1.) Baddest Blues
This is a beautiful opener which starts off a little like a piano concerto then Beth's bluesy vocals come in with a smokiness about them. The way the song develops draws you in, The gentle drums come in with the guitar and the song progresses until it's loud and brash. This is a great example of the excellent way that Beth Hart builds the emotion throughout the song. I love the guitar work which comes towards the end of the song that really tops things off wonderfully well.
2.) Bang Bang Boom Boom
This is a catchy track which has elements of Blues and Country. It has a real toe tapping feeling and moves along well. There are interestingly some moments that evoke sounds of the circus which add a different aspect to things. Hart's relaxed vocals are fluid and easily performed. This is an interesting track which has a different sound to much of the album and shows the range of Beth Hart as an artist.
3.) Better Man
This is a Blues Rock moment here which reminds me a little of Pink, but also of Maroon 5 big hit "This Love" with the backing melodies. This is not one of the absolute best tracks on the album but Beth's strong vocals and the catchy musical melodies are worth a listen. This is far from a bad track. Some good moments.
4.) Caught out in the Rain
This is a fabulous slice of Blues here. Beth's gritty voice drips with emotion throughout this one. I love the way the song builds and then comes to a climax and then simmers wonderfully before repeating over again. Some fantastic guitar work is the perfect compliment to Beth Hart's Bluesy voice and this song certainly makes a fine case for that. It's a wonderful track It really is. At over 7 minutes long it's not a second over what it should be. Superb.
5.) Swing my thing back around
This again shows the versatility of Beth Hart as an artist with an ambitious big band style number she brings her distinctive voice to a Jazzy sound with decent results. Again it's not her best work but it's a good track which showcases her eclectic talent. One of the more different tracks on the album which work suprisingly well.
6.) With You Everyday
This is a lovely short ballad which has a classic soul feel, Beth's distinctive voice is more relaxed than usual and that makes for a very emotive ballad which is up there with the best tracks on the album. It tells the story of how you fall deeper for someone every day you are with them. It shows that she doesn't need to scream with passion to get across stunning emotion. The only gripe is that it could have been a little longer.
7.) Thru the window of my mind
Another slow burner this one, It opens with gentle piano then Beth's relaxed vocals come in. I like the way the song builds as her voice develops emotion and power throughout. It's not as striking as some of her best work but it has that Beth Hart quality which is good to listen to and gets across emotion extremely well.
8.) Spirit of God
This is a Gospel infused Blues track which has a fine stop start intro which leads well into the full flow of the song. There are some great elements of Jazz here too with the fine horn work which adds to the sound. Not quite up there with the best tracks on the album but it certainly has a lot going for it.
9.) There in your heart
This is a beautiful ballad which opens a little like David Gray's classic "This years love" but then turns into a fine soulful blues track about being there for someone when they need you the most. It's a fantastic builder this and as you listen you know that it's turning into a great track. The guitar solo towards the end just takes the song to the next level and completes things. Brilliant stuff.
10.) Ugliest house on the block
This is a catchy track which features some excellent organ in the background. The song is about being unsatisfied with your life and want to move away from things and start afresh to try and get things back to good times. Beth's vocals are flowing, sarcastic and well performed. This is one of the best songs on the album and showcases her voice well and her brand of self confidence in her lyrics which is refreshing.
11.) Everything Must Change
This is a lovely track to end with. The twangy guitars and taut drum beats provide an ideal backing for her emotive vocal about wanting change in your life. It's one of the most touching songs on the album and showcases her vocal talent as well as her fine and very personal and emotive lyrics. A fine end to the album.
This is a fantastic album from Beth Hart which shows the range of her talent for songwriting, vocals and her ability to craft together a track in a variety of different styles. This album continues the fine work from her previous albums and further enhances her standing as one of the best females in Blues today. She will tour extensively in 2013. The best stuff on here stacks up with the best work of her career. That's what you want from an artist. To keep producing the good stuff. The stand out is the 7 minute Blues epic "Caught out in the rain" that evokes sounds of her work with Joe Bonamassa.