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Reviews

Beth Nielsen Chapman Beth Nielsen Chapman
Album: Hearts Of Glass
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.bethnielsenchapman.com

The first piece that I wrote for FATEA was a review of a concert given by Beth Nielsen Chapman just under four years ago. Wow, how time has flown by and the lady has just got better and better.

Beth is a true artist, and I use that word deliberately rather than artiste, as her palette of songs paints a beautiful picture of life. A lady that has suffered heart breaking dramas in her life but is still able to fight back and write wonderfully uplifting yet incredibly emotional music! She truly writes from the heart.

I first heard Beth on the Terry Wogan show in 1994 singing "All I Have" and was immediately struck by her passion and her music. A number of singers have much to thank the Irishman for, a fact which Beth acknowledges at regular intervals. That first song still brings me out in goose bumps as does "Sand and Water" a song written about the death of her husband in 1994. If you want to know what Beth is all about, listen to this song or watch her perform it on YouTube. Quite magical!

This latest album from Beth contains a number of songs previously issued but now using the guitar as the main instrument rather than the piano. Many of her songs have been covered by other singers but none give her songs the passion and feeling that is delivered in spades by Beth.

All of the songs on this album are superb and are delivered with Beth's attitude of "this is life so get on with it." However the one that really stands out for me is "Child Again" a song about a care home and the loneliness of old age. It may not sound like a natural theme for a song but it works perfectly describing the memories and dreams of the elderly lady involved. Wishing she was a child again but knowing that it will never happen. Beth's colourful and thoughtful lyrics turn this into a real "lump in the throat" song and emphasise what we might all have to face at some point in our lives. The simple and stripped bare backing combined with the heartfelt lyrics all contribute to produce an absolutely standout song.

If you like your music delivered with real passion, wonderful melodies and lyrics that mean something, then take a listen to this album.

I have seen Beth three times already live and have booked to see her again soon as part of her new "Hearts Of Glass" UK tour which starts in Glasgow on the 6th March. I cannot recommend this lady too highly. She is an absolute star both as a performer and as a person. If anyone is interested in becoming a songwriter then look no further than Beth who conducts workshops on a regular basis for this. She has also recently been inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. A truly remarkable woman!

Rory Stanbridge