Fire on the Floor
Hot, Sensual and Confessional Blues For After Midnight.
I got something of a shock the first time I played this album, as the opening track Jazz Man is a swinging slice of Dinner Jazz with the welcome addition of Ms. Hart ‘scatting’ in the middle just like favourite singer Cleo Laine did back in the 1960’s. Not what I was expecting at all; but a terrific way to prove the LA Blues singer ain’t no ‘one trick pony’…..this girl can sing; and sing anything.
Track #2 Love Gangster follows in a similar sassy vein; but with Hart at the piano on a more Bluesy offering; of the late at night variety.
Surprise come at you left, right and centre with Beth pouring her heart out into the microphone on the hit single Love is a Lie and later on the biting and bittersweet Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of, but she also enters Aretha territory on Good Day to Cry which will not only tug at your heartstrings but feel like a punch to the gut at the same time, which is quite some feat.
From day #1 Beth Hart has been a very good songwriter, but some of the songs here are staggeringly good; the way she tells the story during Picture in a Frame is quite astonishing, as is the danceably funky Baby Shot Me Down too.
While the other ‘hit single’ and title track Fire on the Floor is obviously one of the best songs Beth has ever recorded; my favourite track here and a song that had my jaw hanging loose even before I saw the title is Fat Man. Cool, sassy and a veritable gumbo of Blues, Soul and even a smidgen of Southern Gothic thrown in for good measure combine to make a fist punching, sing-along toe-tapping party anthem for Rock & Rollers of all ages. I likes it a lot!
I once got into a ‘Twitter Spat’ with Joe Bonamassa for saying ‘he had finally discovered his voice, and that voice was Beth Hart’ in a review of their Sees-Saw album; and I stand by that concept today. Beth Hart has such a distinctive singing voice that it defies comparison which is a rarity in these days of Spotify and 24 hour music streaming; and the world is a better place for it and her.
No overnight success, Beth Hart has worked bloody hard overcoming a whole series of demons to get to where she is today with this, her twelfth album; and it is by some way her most accomplished to date and showing her magnificent voice off in all it’s mellifluous glory.
Released UK October 14th 2016
Released US February 3rd 2017