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You Hold the Key

Beth Nielsen Chapman

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Album Review

While known as a crack Nashville songwriter, Beth Nielson Chapman works inside the pop realm on You Hold the Key, her second effort for Reprise. But pop for Chapman isn't all easy-to-digest nuggets. A talented songwriter, she moves in fluid motion between hearty pop, heart-tugging piano balladry, and burnished adult contemporary groove. She flirts with smoky piano jazz on the coy "Dance With Me Slow," imbues the first-person, fibrous title track with uplifting grace, and sells the smooth Paul Carrack duet "In the Time It Takes" with precision. But she's just as comfortable with the brassy, Bonnie Raitt-style blues-rock of "You Say You Will" or the quietly surging "Faithful Heart," where violins, harp, pipes, and a reverent choir of voices combine with her own fervent vocal for a truly moving experience. It's all in a day's work for Chapman, a wonderful performer who elevates the few scant weak moments of You Hold the Key with pure talent.

Biography

Born: 14 September 1956 in Harlingen, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s

A talented artist in her own right, scoring a number of adult contemporary radio hits, Beth Nielsen Chapman rose to prominence as a successful songwriter, penning a string of songs that would earn their performers hits on both pop and country radio. Born in Harlington, TX, Chapman spent her youth moving frequently due to her father's Air Force career. Teaching herself to play guitar on an instrument that was intended as a gift for her father, Chapman wrote her first song at age 11. While singing...
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You Hold the Key, Beth Nielsen Chapman
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