Sometimes I despair of the music industry. Betty Soo should be a huge international superstar. Betty is a sharp, singer songwriter with incredible talent. She is from Austin, Texas, as cute as pie and is Korean American. It might not be too appetising to open a review of an artist’s work with a dig, in fact, a straight forward accusation of racism at the record industry but if anyone from the decaying empires is reading, this note’s for you. If Betty had blonde hair and blue eyes and the optional big bust she’d be fending off film offers and collaborations with Springsteen and Tom Petty from one of her many Grammy filled houses in Hollywood, the ubiquitous ranch in Montana, one in Tuscany, you know the score. She should be the new Stevie Nicks or Sheryl Crow. She has the songs, the ability and that innate skill to pitch songs perfectly between AOR/ what they call grit and groove- thanks to producer Gurl Morlix, a multi instrumentalist- to real heartbreaker ballads. My only hope is that she’s maybe too cool to want or believe in all that crap. To the songs, we open with Never Knew No Love a confident relaxed calling card. Just Another Lover melts you with its violin, lap steel and underlying the sweetness, a hard-edged smart lyric from the darker side of the feminine psyche. Don’t mess with this lady. On Never the Pretty Girl she almost breaks your heart with what surely is a hit single. A world wide hit, a perfect romcom soundtrack. On Who Knows and Get Clean we venture into what could be The Heartbreakers on a day off from TP.
Heat Sin Water Skin is a great delicious dollop of Americana, country, dirty electric guitar parts enhanced with delightfully subtle Hammond touches. Special mentions to Gene Elders on violin, Todd Wilson on keyboards and fantastic drumming by Mailman Dave in fact to everyone who worked on this album, I hope you get your reward but I fear you wont.
Review by Charlie Brown