Writing On The Wall Records
Stop the presses: She’s only 19!
Not to sound condescending, but at an age when kids are still worrying about a date for the prom, Blair Hansen has written, performed and sung on an album that can be compared to the creative peaks of Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos.
It’s no hype; Smile is that good.
The quality isn’t just in her voice, which is mesmerizing in its fragile beauty; this is grown-up songwriting, the intimate confessions of an artist who has walked long miles of life. “And I can’t help but reminisce/On the way she smelled that night/The way my dark found light,” Hansen sings on “Dance My Way,” a hauntingly gorgeous, deeply moving tale of death and the empty, longing feelings we have when a loved one has passed away. The emotional depth conveyed in Hansen’s delicate, ethereal vocals leaves the ears spellbound.
But this is not a depressing album; far from it. “Take the world off your shoulders/Tell me your worries, all your fears/I have all night, I have the next day,” Hansen offers on “Listen” — and those words summarize the theme of hope that is carried from one track to the next.
The acoustic-based arrangements are ideally suited for Hansen’s voice and lyrics, as they comfort the listener. But there are times, such as on “Listen,” when the music truly rocks. However, this isn’t a record about adolescent anguish; it’s about coming of age, shedding old skin and preparing oneself for better days ahead.
Blair Hansen: www.blairhansen.com