Album Review: Beth Nielsen Chapman – Hearts of Glass

Hearts of Glass is the soulful new album from veteran folk and country star Beth Nielsen Chapman. Marking her thirteenth solo album release, Hearts of Glass is something of a concept album that concentrates on building a charming collection of songs about the strength and vulnerabilities of the human nature.

This careful and charming album comprises a collection of wonderful new material whilst setting it down alongside from stunning new reimaginations of some of Chapman’s most famous songs. The result is an album the spans through time as it combines old and new with a series of new contemporary twists and turns. This music gradually swirls and winds itself around until it becomes an album that is raw and powerful and yet with a feather-light touch to it. Chapman’s music is so soft and natural that it feels as though it reaches you with the same level of ease as the suns rays. Warm, calming and tender, Chapman’s music carefully mirrors the lyrics she brings to life as it gently fuses together piano, organs and acoustic slide guitar together alongside an endearing gospel choir like quality to her backing vocals. This gentle method of hers becomes something so much more and mere sound and song – Chapman wields her music as an extension of her very being.

Listen to the lead track from “Hearts Of Glass” written by Beth Nielsen Chapman, Graham Gouldman & Kevin Montgomery at the Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat at Pennard House in Somerset, England

Coupled alongside this tender collection of melodies is Chapman’s finely honed and sweetly delicate voice. As smooth as silk and as rich as gold her voice reaches out like a siren song to a sailor and touches the very depths of your heart. Pure, drive and steeped with emotion Chapman has the true power to draw you in and show you the world through her eyes. Her songs can be almost eerily beautiful at times when you consider her choices of topic. Songs such as Child Again draws on the rather painful topic of dementia but does so with such warmth and emotion that it’s hard not to feel something prickling at the corner of your eyes. She has weighed each and every word carefully to create a collection of songs that will etch their meanings deep into your heart, leaving you pondering her thoughts for days.

Chapman is a monumental and truly inspirational musician who is able to deftly create songs that surround the strengths and weaknesses of life without ever once becoming too maudlin or melancholic. Instead she focusses her work on lifting the spirits of others with an endearing album that celebrates both the strength and fragility of the human heart.


Tuesday, March 6 – Glasgow City Halls
Wednesday, March 7 – Sheffield Sheffield City Hall
Thursday, March 8 – Pocklington, York Pocklington Arts Centre
Saturday, March 10 – Gillingham, Dorset Gillingham School
Sunday, March 11 – Bexhill On Sea, East De La Warr Pavilion
Monday, March 12 – Wavendon, Milton Keynes The Stables
Tuesday, March 13 – Wavendon, Milton Keynes The Stables
Tuesday, March 13 – Wavendon, Milton Keynes Fishbowl Critique Master Classes, The Stables
Thursday, March 15 – Gateshead Quays, Gateshead The Sage (Hall 2)
Friday, March 16 – Gateshead Quays, Gateshead Fishbowl Critique Master Class, The Sage
Sunday, March 18 – Stamford The Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre
Monday, March 19 – Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk The Apex
Wednesday, March 21 – Birmingham Town Hall
Thursday, March 22 – London Cadogan Hall
Saturday, March 24 – Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Sunday, March 25 – Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Tuesday, March 27 – Leeds City Varieties
Thursday, March 29 – Bridport, Dorset Electric Palace
Friday, March 30 – Bristol St George’s Bristol
Monday, April 2 – Portaferry Portico Arts Centre
Tuesday, April 3 – Belfast Studio, Waterfront Hall
Thursday, August 2 – Sunday, August 5 – Cambridge Cambridge Folk Festival

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Review by Joe Knipe

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