Rachel Beausoleil: Close To My Heart

Canadian singer gives optimistic lyrics a dark folk or Latin musical cast, accompanied by just guitar and drums

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Earthy, raw and heartfelt are the words that come to mind when listening to Rachel Beausoleil’s reissue of her 2001 album Close To My Heart. With a unique timbre to her voice, Beausoleil creates a rich tone which conversely also sounds closed and at times dark, creating an interesting listening experience.

Beausoleil comments in her album notes that the tracks were recorded whilst she was pregnant with her daughter, and in fact dedicated the album to Amiel who was born a month after the album was recorded. Sentiments of love, care and intense heartfelt emotion are conveyed in each piece.

The personal quality to the album is amplified through the use of a limited number of musicians, creating intimacy. Furthermore, the limited accompaniment brings Beausoleil’s voice to the fore, and produces a closeness between her and the listener.

The track Do Not Tell The Truth is particularly powerful in its one sustained note accompaniment, whilst Beausoleil vocal inflections dominate and command attention. The folk style of the piece creates an eerie beginning as you are drawn into the lyrics: “Do not tell the truth to those who will not believe it.” The accompaniment then transforms to classical guitar playing Latin style, completely altering the overall emotion of the piece.

Arguably, Beausoleil’s vocal tone is slightly too closed at times, and the darkness created contrasts with the happiness being expressed in the texts. Although it’s convincing, more moments of light over dark could create an even more impressive performance. Despite this, it’s a moving album. 

Discography
Contigo En La Distancia; Les Uns Contre Les Autres; Do Not Tell The Truth; Nature Boy; Les Moulins De Mon Coeur; Save Your Love For Me; Bésame Mucho; The Summer Knows; My Funny Valentine; Drume Negrita (51.03)
Beausoleil (v); Roddy Ellias (g); Fraser Hollins (d). Montréal, 14 & 18 July 2001.
rachelbeausoleil.ca