Beth Hart’s new album ‘War In My Mind’ hits just the right notes
Backed by producer Rob Cavallo and an ace band including Vinnie Colaiuta and Tim Pierce, the singer first known for ‘L.A. Song’ displays her usual power plus sensibility and grace. She’ll be in Chicago next month for a sold-out show at Park West.
Beth Hart reveals her innermost self on “War In My Mind” (Provogue), an intense, candid and moving album from the blues-oriented singer who has had a string of accomplished solo recordings including her 1999 hit “L.A. Song” as well as winning collaborations with Joe Bonamassa and Jeff Beck.
On “War In My Mind,” Hart — who plays Park West Nov. 18 in a Monday night show that already has sold out — says she “just let it be what it is.”
Accompanying herself on piano and supported by producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Gary Clark Jr.) and an ace band including Vinnie Colaiuta and Tim Pierce, the onetime “Star Search” winner sings with her usual power plus plenty of sensibility and grace.
“Sister Dear” is especially heartrending. It’s about a sibling who succumbed to AIDS, and it has a purity of feeling that even such direct personal tributes rarely achieve.
The jazzy “Without Words In the Way” is resigned, a gospel choir illuminates the resilient “Let It Grow,” and Cavallo rightly pegged the bluesy epic “Rub Me for Luck” as apt for a James Bond film.
“Sugar Shack” thunders and sizzles. “Woman Down” is a tour de force. And, on album closer “I Need A Hero,” with only her piano tugging along, Hart seems to come to terms with herself.
Her struggles might be internal. But, venting in song, Hart again confirms the force of music and its therapeutic value.