Beth Hart, “Might As Well Smile” from Better Than Home (2015): One Track Mind

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A soul-lifting tale of overcoming adversity, Beth Hart’s “Might As Well Smile” is powered by a lyric, by these horns, by a voice which speaks to new joy. She’s always had a way with expressing darkness, of shattered hurt, of things that go bump in our chests, but this isn’t like that.

Instead, “Might As Well Smile” explores a new kind of song for Beth Hart, part of a new kind of album called Better Than Home that’s due on April 14, 2015 via Provogue. Only someone who has seen true hurt could find the strength to call something better than home, to walk away from something so fundamental because it wasn’t what you always hoped it would be, what it should have always been.

Beth Hart has always possessed that kind of bravery. Over the years, in a variety of settings, she’s given voice to so much pain, and for so long, fully exploring a life story that saw her parents split, her sister lost to AIDS, years gone with drug use and an eventual bipolar diagnosis. But she’s somehow emerged thankful for the life still left, rather than bitter, and determinedly hopeful to make the most of what remains.

It’s a decision fraught with risks, for Beth Hart’s loyal fanbase and for her own muse. You wondered if she could shift her gaze successfully, if she could use a tool that had always been serrated to carve completely different slices of life. “Might As Well Shines” answers that question definitively. Beth Hart most certainly can.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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