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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb debut
There is a danger that Beth Rowley could be lost among the plethora of female vocalists who have surfaced recently - that would be a pity. Throughout this varied set, Rowley's vocal ability is clear. She effortlessly handles blues, country and gospel and turns Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" into a reggae inspired shuffle. Not only that, she has written 5 of the tracks,...
Published on 21 May 2008 by Andy Edwards

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad album .
I bought this album after hearing one of the tracks on the radio , and have to say that it is not a bad album . There are one or two of the tracks that need more than a few listenings , but on the whole it is a very pleasant album that is ideal for those quieter moments of the day .
Published on 12 Mar 2009 by Egbert Souse


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb debut, 21 May 2008
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
There is a danger that Beth Rowley could be lost among the plethora of female vocalists who have surfaced recently - that would be a pity. Throughout this varied set, Rowley's vocal ability is clear. She effortlessly handles blues, country and gospel and turns Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" into a reggae inspired shuffle. Not only that, she has written 5 of the tracks, each of which bears testament to the varied influences she must have had.

My favourites are the aforementioned Dylan track, "Almost Persuaded.." and "When the Rains Came", each of which build to a superb gospel climax, (but then I am a sucker for Soul) and "Only one Cloud", which sounds like an ancient Blues, but is actually part written by Rowley.

If you like Duffy, Adele, Winehouse, Norah Jones or Alice Russell, I would recommend this album - soulful vocals, restrained arrangements, you'll find it ends too soon and you'll play it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad album ., 12 Mar 2009
This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
I bought this album after hearing one of the tracks on the radio , and have to say that it is not a bad album . There are one or two of the tracks that need more than a few listenings , but on the whole it is a very pleasant album that is ideal for those quieter moments of the day .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BETH HAS FINALLY MADE IT, 5 May 2008
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Beths for the last couple of years since she been doing the London circuit and have recently been able to attain a copy of the album.
The album doesnt disapoint but i have to say that the best songs are the same songs she released on her ep. If you want to listen to, in my view, one of the some outstanding voices in resent years buy the album.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant music with many influences, 20 May 2008
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
Though born in Peru, Beth Rowley is of British stock and has lived in Britain since her parents returned home when she was two. Beth grew up listening to many different styles of music thanks to her parents' eclectic musical tastes and this is reflected in her music. As a singer-songwriter, Beth has co-written five of the songs here, often with the help of Ben Castle. Ben (son of Roy Castle) is a jazz saxophonist who has worked with Jamie Cullum. The other six songs are covers but Beth has chosen them well. I'd be very surprised if you've heard more than about four of them by other artists at the very most.

The set opens with a traditional song (Nobody's fault but mine). Beth's bluesy voice is perfectly matched to this bluesy song that sets a high standard for the rest of the album, which maintains that high standard throughout.

The next two tracks (Sweet hours, So sublime) are among the original songs, with the latter being the second single from the album, released just a week before the album itself. The release of the first single (Oh my life, which is track 7 here) preceded the album by a full three months but failed to chart.

The fourth track (I shall be released) might be the most familiar song that Beth covered for this album, it being one of Bob Dylan's classic songs. Beth opted to give it an upbeat reggae treatment that may be slightly at odds with the lyrics but nevertheless works well.

The next three tracks feature two more brilliant original songs (Only one cloud, Oh my life) sandwiching a cover of When the rains came, written and originally recorded by British blues singer Jim Crawford. I confess that I've never heard of him before but if all his songs are this good, one wonders why he isn't better known.

The next two tracks, both covers, are what attracted my attention when I first saw the album and looked at the track listing in my local store. I am familiar with a Willie Nelson song titled Angel flying too close to the ground. I really didn't believe that somebody could come up with a different song with that title. Seeing another familiar country song title (Almost persuaded) as the following title reinforced this belief. I did some research and confirmed that these songs were indeed covers of the songs that I was familiar with and after listening to some of the other songs (but not these two) on MySpace, I knew that I had to buy this album.

Beth chose to bring in guest vocalist Duke Special on Angel flying too close to the ground. It's a long way removed from Willie Nelson's original version, but if the great man hears it, I think he would approve. Almost persuaded (originally recorded by David Houston, who has long since faded into obscurity) has generated a variety of covers including very distinctive versions by Etta James and Hank Williams Junior. Both of those covers are very different from the original and from each other. Tammy Wynette is among those singers who recorded faithful covers of the song. Beth has stamped her own identity on the song so her version is different again from the others I've heard.

Next comes the last of the five excellent original songs here, You never even called me tonight. The final track (Beautiful tomorrow), like the opening track, is a traditional song, but this one is a gospel song that Beth may have learned from Mahalia Jackson's version.

Musically, this is hard to classify but it has elements of pop, jazz, blues and soul in it. Despite including two covers of country songs, I don't detect any country influences in the actual music. Not that I mind, because this is a truly brilliant debut album by a singer who will hopefully be around for a long time.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good debut with room for improvement, 1 Jun 2008
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
Beth Rowley's voice isn't as distinctive as the voices of her nearest `rivals', Amy Winehouse and Duffy, that's not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that some of her songs, such as "So sublime" and "You never called me tonight", can seem a bit bland.

What singles her out from her contemporaries is that as well as singing pop and 'reconstituted 60s soul' she also sings `da blues'. However, she's no Susan Tedeschi and I find that her take on Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's fault but mine" is a bit dull. Similarly, her producer has taken Jim Crawford's "When the rains came" - which Jim recorded with just his guitar and voice - added a full band with Hammond organ, slide guitar and gospel backing singers and turned a masterpiece of understatement into overblown mediocrity. She's not exactly ruined a great song (that would be perfect for a cover by Joe Cocker) but she's missed all the subtleties of the song and its original performance. I also find the modern blues "One cloud" to be pretty average.

I think that when she leaves the blues behind she's a lot better - "Sweet hours" and "Oh my life" both work perfectly as modern pop/soul, as do the gospel-influenced "Almost persuaded" and the reggae version of Dylan's "I shall be released". The real revelation for me was her duet with Duke Special on Willie Nelson's "Angel flying too close to the ground" where her voice is thoughtful and vulnerable, and which for me was one of her best vocal performances.

It's commendable that Beth and her producers have tried to include different types of music into the mix of her debut CD but I feel that for much of the blues-based material her voice can't really carry the songs and their arrangements.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning, 3 Jun 2008
By 
EV1 (Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
There's been a lot of talk of how much this young singer sounds like Eva Cassidy. I could only hear what they meant on one song from this album. To me, she sounds more like either Corinne Bailey Rae or Dusty Springfield, but really she just sounds like herself! She has lovely creamy vocals and they can be surprisingly powerful. In style she ranges through jazz, gospel, blues, '60's style pop and even a touch of country. It's a solid little collection of covers, traditionals and originals, but it lacks something. Usually I love it when artists include a mixture of different styles on the one album, but I don't feel this one gels together as a whole. I think Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground was a mistake - it doesn't fit in and it drops too low for her vocal range, one note she is forced to speak and it sounds uncomfortable. The standout track is Almost Persuaded. The lyrics are strong, human but ultimately uplifting, and the bluesy melody brings out the best in Beth's voice and performance. You Never Called Me Tonight is also good, and is one of the five songs here that Beth co-wrote. There aren't enough really good songs on this album, too many of them are just quite good, and they're shown up more by the few gems. She has great potential, but this isn't as good as I expected it to be, and I think she can do better. Hopefully she will.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voice but some weak songs, 29 May 2008
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J. Bloss "jethrox1" (Buckingham,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
If there is an artist who is likely to be very successful this year it must be Beth Rowley. She has the looks and the voice to make a very big impact, and I am guessing a pretty good agent as she seems to be receiving a lot of promotion. I've listened to her album a few times now and bought it on the strength of hearing "Nobody's Fault but Mine". To me that is one of the strongest songs on the album. However, some of the songs are painfully middle of the road and to me fairly forgettable, like "Sweet Hours". I just wish that she had opted for a little more blues and less MOR. However, if you like Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse then you won't be disappointed
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slighlty disspapointed, 21 May 2008
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Olya23 (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
I have Beth's EP Sweet Hours and absolutely love it. I've been waiting for this release for a while and was very excited when I got it. Unfortunatley I'm a bit dissapointed. Firstly, her voice is amazing, but there's something in the production of this that just sounds a bit 'produced' if you know what I mean. It's just doesn't live up to her sound live as if it's been over processed. I think the versions of songs that are on both this album and the EP are conparable, but I wouldn't say that these are markedly better. I do like the version of almost persuaded and in general, it's unfortunate, but I prefer the covers to the original material. If you've not heard Beth live or listened to 'Sweet hours' you'll probably love this album if you like a blues/country vibe, but personally I found it a bit of an anticlimax after much anticipation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The first track 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' has good promise of an interesting album, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
What an odd mixture. The first track 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' has good promise of an interesting album. Sadly it is mostly downhill from there. The choice of material being the main problem. The occasional mediocre self penned song is fine to pad out a good album but they do not compensate for a poor one. Bob Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released' is given a somewhat odd jaunty arrangement - did Ms Rowley not understand the words? 'Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground' is a travesty not helped by the guest appearance of Duke Special. The arrangement on 'Almost Persuaded' has to be a joke - doesn't it? Having said all this Beth Rowley is a far better singer than this set allows. She needs some good material suited to her strong and interesting voice and some arrangements and production from elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great relaxing listen, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Little Dreamer (Audio CD)
The more I listen to this the more I like like it. Beautiful vocals in a stripped down musical package that has its roots in blues and gospel. On first listen I liked it and grew to love it there more I listened. So nice to hear a singer be so precise and yet resist the temptation to over-sing.
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