Beth Rowley – Little Dreamer
I’ve seen Beth Rowley perform live twice. The first time was on that memorable evening when I saw Nerina Pallot at The Clapham Grand. Beth was one of the many other artists being showcased that night and one of the few who I took particular notice of. And the second time? Well that was something a little more holy. It was in a church. In Piccadilly. Perhaps you might think this to be a strange setting, but the acoustics were so perfect for her voice that it sent shivers down my spine. You could even go so far as to say it was sublime. So sublime.
So Sublime is one of the stand out tracks on Little Dreamer. It’s got a bit more of a pop music rhythm to it. Her voice really does shine through in the chorus. If I remember correctly, Beth didn’t perform this song in the church. I honestly can’t remember far enough back as to whether it made an appearance at Clapham, but I can say that I’d rather like to hear this live.
Nobody’s Fault But Mine and Sweet Hours each see Beth’s voice being used beautifully. They vary in tempos and moods but I can’t say I prefer one to the other. The versatility of her voice means that it’s suited to a variety of songs.
I’ll admit that I Shall Be Released, Only One Cloud, When The Rains Came and Oh My Life don’t stand out massively to me. Out of the four I’d pick When The Rains Came as my favourite but, particularly in the case of Oh My Life I find myself a little bit indifferent.
Angel Flying To Close To The Ground sees Beth’s voice joined by some male vocals to create a haunting song. Perhaps it’s the mention of angels, along with the sounds of what appears to be a harp, that make the song so heavenly.
This brings me to my favourite track on the album; Almost Persuaded is rather soulful. Beth’s voice is accompanied by the piano to show off it’s true abilities. In fact, there’s rarely any instruments used to distract you from Beth’s vocals. They are the main attraction. Occasionally they are supported with backing vocals that sound almost choral, but they can carry a note so well unaccompanied that they needn’t be added to.
Similarly, I love the vocals on You Never Called Me Tonight. Telling the story of waiting for a promised phone call when you really should have been doing more with your evening, Beth is able to make this mundane issue far more exciting.
Beautiful Tomorrow shows Beth’s voice in a rather different way to the rest of the album. It sounds as though it should be being played in a cowboy western film with the guitar being strummed in the background.
The final song on the album, is a cover of the classic Be My Baby. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t know it was a cover at first (shoot me now). But even before I was made aware of this, I had already decided that this was my least favourite song on the album. It just doesn’t carry the vocals in the same way as others do.