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Heart In Hand

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Customer Reviews

Heart in Hand

Amazing! Buy it! I was able to see her live at Java Guru when her cd first released. I am amazed by her voice.

AMAZING!!

This album is amazing. She has such a pure beautiful voice. I've seen her live a couple of times and her voice is just as amazing when she is live! Love her! :)

If you like beautiful things...

For being only thirty-five minutes long, Stephanie Ault's debut EP "Heart in Hand" feels like much, much more. Like Tracy Chapman or Jonatha Brooke, Ms. Ault has an astute ear for the woman who is far bigger than her down-trodden circumstances. The first two tracks (it's nearly indistinguishable that they are two separate tracks) almost constitute a softly rockin' operetta of a single mother and daughter surrounded by bleak suburbia. Even the sweet pop of "Playdates at Gina Trovato's House" belies the sad story of a fatherless little girl who ends up watching her friend's family reuniting at the end of a long week. To slow it down a little in the middle and at the end, she includes two quiet, delicate piano pieces--one about a woman with nothing but her music, one with nothing but her faith.

It's not all sad, though. She also interweaves some breath-taking imagery of trees and skies, particularly, with her lines of beautifully wrought metaphor. In fact, her deceptively sophisticated wordplay often makes it difficult to tell whether she's singing about trees or skies or herself, or whether they're all one, changing and growing together. The seasonal segue into Christmas (and who doesn't like a fresh Christmas tune?) brings us sneaking past sleeping parents in footie PJ's to the college Christmas in a friend's home, a thousand miles from our own. We even get a chorus of "fahoo foray"...right before it turns really sad. Still, it is not without redemption and resolution.

As astounding as the emotional scope and depth of her lyrics can be, they are at least matched by her songwriting and craftswomanship. Her songs are carefully structured to carry us up and down right alongside her, so comfortably and stylishly that one might not even notice the lushness of the vocal harmonies and subtle instrumentations. This is, of course, to say nothing of the quality of her voice itself. It is always kept appropriately between soft and quiet as a church mouse and Sinead O'Connor shouting at the patriarchy, never letting us doubt her convictions or her abilities.

If this was the only album Stephanie Ault ever released, it would stand testament to her versatility and artistry. Fortunately, it isn't (check out her stripped-down, acoustic "From the Factory"--plug, plug). Her repertoire seems limited only by time and the notion that, as she insists, she's "just so human." Soon, however, she'll finally tap into that ever-creative vastness she seeks and make us weep with her trenchant beauty. Until then, we'll have to wait patiently as she shares her soul with us a few songs at a time.

Heart In Hand, Stephanie Ault
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