I make no apologies for my love of Tidal, a CD (or better) quality streaming service that gives me access to endless musical enjoyment. One of the things I love most about services like Tidal is that I can listen to the new albums or hits from artists in various genre's I enjoy. One of those genres is blues, and so I went to the new Blues album section of Tidal and listened to each of the tracks. Some were pretty good, but nothing was really grabbing my attention or affecting me in any emotional way. Suddenly a beguiling tune came on by blues and soul singer Beth Hart entitled "Tell her you Belong to me". This is really more of a soul song reminiscent of classic Ottis Redding. Almost instantly my pilomotor reflex kicked it, goosebumps head to toe and my hair standing on end. There is just something about the trill of her voice, the rasp of her blue notes, and even how she seems to know exactly which blue notes to hit when for maximum soul and sadness. I really love this song, and while I've probably listened to it a dozen times, the pilomotor reflex still kicks in every time. While the songs have little in common other than the story, I can't help but draw a comparison to Dolly Parton's Jolene. Both tunes are about a woman fighting for her man, fending off another woman who is maybe younger or prettier, but who couldn't possibly love her man as much as the protagonist does. There is a romance to this that, when mixed with the soulful tune, makes me sad. I can't help but feel bad for the protagonist, I want love to win out for her, I want the story to end happily, yet I can't help but think it won't. It makes me want to run to my wife, hug her and tell her there will never be a younger prettier woman. The song ends and I can't help but think, "Geez Matt, it's just a song." This is what great music does to me. I love music, I react emotionally to it, and the better the songs and performances, the greater my physiological and psychological reaction to it. The fact that Beth Hart causes such intense subconscious reaction is a testament to how amazing a performer she really is. Beth Hart has had a tough life with bouts of depression, even leaving music for an extended period of time. While there is nothing good about mental illness, there is no denying the effect it has had on artistic expression. For Beth Hart, I really think that she is using her music to express how she feels and her sadness and emotion, it's intensity explodes from every verse. "Love Gangster" and "Leave the light on" are both great expressions of this intensity. Check out this album, it's excellent!