Live Hart

Goin' Native Records, 2014


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Self-described as 'alternative soul' and bringing in influences like John Mayer and Sara Bareilles, New Jersey's Live Hart's debut also encapsulates the rich sides of pop, folk and R&B sounds as well. Though she cut her teeth in the outfit Urbanesque as a youngster, Hart refined her craft as a songwriter and a guitar player in her post-Urbanesque years, which culminates here in 10 finely fleshed out tracks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Hart leads off with “I'm Gone,” an emotive soft rock song with fluid singing and intricate guitar parts that easily sets the mood for what's to come. Following is “New Day,” which starts with acoustic strumming and more breathy singing that shifts into easy listening rock that seems tailor-made for your local FM station that plays artists as diverse as Tracy Chapman or Fleetwood Mac. “Take Me” is where she starts to spread her wings. Hart begins extremely calm but builds into a more rowdy rock anthem with an equal amount of playfulness and enthusiasm. 

Though her musicianship is extremely meticulous, the song titles and wordplay are straight to the point, as the titles seem to correlate with the tone you would expect. For example, “Please Don't Say It's Over” is emotional and as introspective as the title implies, while “We Can Change The World” is all about peace with a mild reggae influence. “Lala,” on the other hand, is a great singer-songwriter song that really highlights Hart's voice, and despite being one of the barest songs, it is the disc highlight.

Near the end, “This Is Me” isn't far off from the textured, R&B influenced pop that seems to be everywhere, and not long after is one of the biggest surprises of the album, the electro-pop of “Summer Love.” If Live Hart is looking for any mainstream success, this is the song that could do it for her.

The only real complaint someone might voice about Honesty is that a few tracks have a 'sameness' quality to them. For fans of this type of sound, it's less likely to be an issue, but the casual listener might experience this sort of musical déja vu.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2015 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Goin' Native Records, and is used for informational purposes only.