Hannah Bethel - Never Ending Sky
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Never Ending Sky (Self-released, 2014)

Hannah Bethel

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

Michigan born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Hannah Bethel's latest independent release is a mix of country and pop with a touch of rock. All these elements are present in the opening "You Wanna Be My Man," which begins nicely with some mellow ganjo picking by Bethel's co-producer Brennin Hunt and transitions into a pop rocker with some hot guitar licks from David Myhre.

Among the stronger country tunes is the moody "Frigerator" in which the household appliance is used to describe a crumbling relationship ("Our love used to light up the dark/So what made you turn off your heart" and "But now the only thing turned on in this house is a 'frigerator"). Similarly the ballad "If You Felt Like I Did" is an effective duet that has Bethel and Hunt trading verses that portray different perspectives of a doomed affair.

The pop influenced "The Way Back Home" expresses feelings of loss and longing ("Felt the ground shift beneath my feet/Tried to take the hand that reached for me/I still look for what I couldn't see/I guess blindness runs in my family"), while the bouncy "Tumbleweed" takes a more optimistic approach as Bethel proclaims "I will see all I can see and I will be what I will be/We will fly through a never ending sky and we'll never have to wonder about the things we never tried."

Bethel co-wrote all eight tracks with multiple collaborators. The instrumentation is solid throughout with lead guitarist Myhre, Hunt (acoustic guitar, Mellotron, lap steel, piano, percussion), Tim Horsley (drums) and Adam Ollendorff (pedal steel). Though a bit brief, clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Bethel's pleasant vocals and strong compositions make this entertaining.

CDs by Hannah Bethel

Never Ending Sky, 2014

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