Review by Farid Long

Seldom has someone so young, in her maiden effort in producing an album of self-penned material ever impressed me. BittyMacBeth is one such artiste.

I had an inkling of her prowess, when I invited her to perform on soft tv’s “The Singer Songwriter Series”. In that episode, she featured her virtuosity on the bass guitar, her main instrument of choice as well as her refreshing ideas as a live looper. Her album “Beauty for Ashes” is a continuation of that showcase and more.

The album opens with the effervescent Californian Dream which features Dru Chen. The tune is modern yet maintains the “retro” feel that all classic works somehow inevitably seem to possess. BittyMacBeth makes full use of vocal ability with the tone and delivery that belies her age and experience. You start getting into the “groove” from this opening track.

I unashamedly admit to Vandal Miss Joaquim being my favorite track. Penned for National Environment Agency’s song competition, this gem of a tune starts off with a reggae feel with retains its cool jazz meets R & B style seamlessly.

Other tracks of noteworthy mention are Haters gon Hate, with its cool funk sound and hip horn section, Blank with its live looped vocal refrain and feature Benjamin Kheng and Tim DeCotta, Bane off Love and of course the title track Beauty for Ashes. All features BittyMacBeth’s R & B touches.

Beauty for Ashes is a gem of a collection of 8 songs. The polished musical and vocal arrangements make this album a true joy to listen to. Get the physical copy which comes with a booklet that features an intimate collection of the artiste’s intimate photographs, the obvious credits but more, the lyrics to her songs which reflects her ever growing maturity as a songwriter. Songs with the gravitational weight and sonic stylings which unlike the majority of her peers.

Appropriately endorsed by the National Arts Council, Beauty for Ashes is a definitely one for the collection.