Beth Hart - Fire On the Floor album review

Blues queen stretches out

Beth Hart Fire On the Floor album cover

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Two collaborative albums with Joe Bonamassa raised Beth Hart’s rock profile. This eighth solo album, though, sees her exploring older ideas of the blues, on Coca Cola adopting a dreamy, reedy, little-girl voice halfway between Billie Holiday and Marilyn Monroe.

She’s also a creatively bawdy lyricist in updated Bessie Smith style, typically finding herself falling for bad men, as in Fire On The Floor where her phrasing stretches and slurs under the incinerating heat of a passion that ‘can’t be tamed or satisfied’.

Best of all is No Place Like Home, a road song that sounds like it’s set in the wrong town just before Christmas, its emotion uncoiling from somewhere deep. It could be one of Tom Waits’s heartbreakers.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).