Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
on October 23, 2010
I may be one of the few people that actually owns every one of Beth Hart's albums including her obscure ones with the Beth Hart Band. I love Beth's music because it's raw, passionate, Beth has killer vocals, and I love the bluesy folk rock feel to the majority of her work. This album seems to be a little bit more polished/produced. While I'm not one of those people that thinks higher production=sell out album, in this case I feel some of what makes Beth unique was lost a little bit. To me at least, the album just isn't as emotionally gutting. I think her most emotional performance is actually the bonus live track "Oh Me, Oh My" which is simply transcendent as it's just Beth and her piano singing her heart out. Maybe some of my disappointment comes from the fact that I kind of was expecting a perfect album which is just ridiculous.
However, all that isn't to say that "My California" is a bad album-because it's not-it's still 5x better than the majority of stuff out there. Beth still delivers quality music in her throaty JanisJoplinesque vocals. The lyrics are touching and well-written. The music is still that fun mixture of rock/blues/folk/alternative. "Love Is the Hardest" is probably my favorite track currently, but the great thing about Beth's music is that its so nuanced and layered that a song you might have initially passed over can quickly become a new favorite on repeat listens.
I would recommend this album if you like Blues Traveler, Janis Joplin, or Shannon Curfman. Although, know that Beth really has her own distinctive sound that can't even really be put in a box. I for one, am simply glad that Beth is still recording and giving herself to her music after almost 18 years.