|Anna Rose Beck - "Glass House In Outer Space"|
—A review by Charlton Wiggins
Anna Rose Beck is to me quite literally an angel. Her voice is angelic, supple yet teeming with depth and feeling. Her guitar playing is malleable yet strong.
I suppose I should by way of disclaimer state that I was introduced to Anna and her music at a juncture in my life when I was quite low and in the hospital after serious surgery. As a volunteer at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC. she roams the halls to rooms where she is invited to play and sing songs for patients as part of their music therapy. I was privileged and blessed to have her come through my door twice and her voice lifted my spirits to great heights. So maybe this review is a little prejudiced but I don’t care for I feel it also to be accurate.
Glass House In Outer Space is Anna’s second album and available for purchase in CD format on her website - AnnaRoseBeck.com. The nine tunes on the album are cohesive in tone, each sounding and providing a feel of being a building block on the one before it.
The first and last songs on the album, Bandaid and Carolina Moonshine are dissimilar in tone from the rest of the album yet nicely bookend the other seven songs included.
Bandaid introduces the album with the intricate sounds of a classical guitar played with a Spanish flair which adds to the sad theme of the lyrics which speak of the chasm between two lovers who “lay alone in the dark” and psychological abuse when “every stone you have thrown leaves a scar.”
Carolina Moonshine on the other hand is plaintive song relying solely on Anna’s lucid vocals and a simple piano. Just as you get comfortable with the sound Anna throws a curveball when she joins in as her own vocal accompaniment.
My favorite song on the album is the second tune “Where The River Ends.” When in the hospital I enjoined Anna to play an original tune (she was performing mostly covers as I’m sure that was what most patients identify with) and this was the song she played and sang. It is such a beautiful song and for me is a superb example of her music.
I suppose next to her vocals, it is the imagery that appears in my mind from the lyrics in Anna’s songs that enthralls me most. Her songwriting paints images and the images gathered together paint a story. The poetic beauty of her writing and singing is reminiscent of the wonderful works of Tish Hinojosa, a Hispanic singer/songwriter.
Am I prejudiced towards Anna’s music? Absolutely. Am I wrong about her music? No. No I’m not. Buy her album and see for yourself.