Dec 4, 2011

Hannah Rae Beale - CD Review

Beale began her singer-songwriter career at the young age of 15. She is now 18 and juggling a busy college schedule along with playing gigs and summer tours. She toured last summer with Ethan Keller at music festivals mainly in her home state of Michigan and Wisconsin but this midwestern girl made her way also to the Big Apple. Her influences include Adele, Joss Stone, and Colbie Callait. After a listen to her two 2011 releases, Hold Tight and DIrt, I would also add Corinne Bailey Rae to this mix. It is most obvious to compare her to the music styling and sound of Callait. The song "I Never Told You" by Callait could have been on one of Beale's releases.

In Hold Tight, Beale sings about friendship in "Jeana", which she has included an acoustic bonus track, relationships, and broken hearts. The song "These Questions" in particular strikes a chord and reminds me of Corinne Bailey Rae (note they both have the name Rae!). Of the two releases, the songs on this one have a more similar slow tempo and an overall feel and tone of sadness. For these reasons I personally prefer the release Dirt which reveals a more playful side to Beale. On Dirt, "Call Me Pookie" has a reggae beat and another bonus track of this song performed with a swing jazz sound is included also. " Spring Fling" has a bit of an alt country rock sound with electric guitar riffs in the background. One of my favorites is the song "Peace" which demonstrates Beale's skills at word play a la Jason Mraz. Maybe not at the speed that he delivers it but nonetheless, great rhyming. One of the last tracks "Unreliable" is more of a ballad and allows for a good listen to Beale's vocal quality and talent.

Beale recently released her first single "Aint Nobody" which she co-wrote with Ethan Keller and is a great choice for her debut. This song is available for your listening pleasure on her website. Beale's vocals are interwoven with rapping by Keller. This is a great listen and I look forward to hearing this song on the radio and/or satellite soon. My husband independently heard Beale's CD while driving in the car (as it was in my carousel) and asked me later who she was and is convinced that he heard her before on satellite. I told him he likely is confusing her for Colbie Callait. Beale has accomplished a lot for someone so young having written 30 original songs by age 17 and simultaneously releasing two nicely produced CD's showcasing her talent as a singer and writer. Having not seen her live in Chicago, I look forward to the opportunity. Hopefully at my favorite singer-songwriter venue, Schubas. If you like Colbie Callait and Corinne Bailey Rae (so much rhyming...) you will be a fan of Hannah Rae Beale.

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