Meg Hutchinson – “Beyond That” Review

In “Making You A Place,” one of many standout tracks from Meg Hutchinson’s magnificent and special record Beyond That, she sings what is the album’s thesis statement: “If nothing can stay,” she says, “let’s stay open to the changes.”

And the Meg Hutchinson of this record is certainly a changed one since we last heard her on 2010’s The Living Side. She’s outdone herself lyrically, switched over to the piano as her primary instrument, and grown tremendously as a vocalist. The production, too, feels like it’s serving the songs in even smarter ways than it has previously. 

But most importantly, and what resonates most profoundly in listening to the record, is Hutchinson’s growth as an artist and as a person. She’s seeking uncharted territory on this new record, the subject matter of the songs taking her to places she hasn’t been before on previous albums. If you can even call them songs. So many of the tracks here feel like profound meditations, like nondenominational prayers. With a poet’s eye, Hutchinson captures so beautifully that human journey toward peace, toward forgiveness, toward acceptance – and all this in less than an hour from the first track to the epilogue. This record is best listened to in one sitting. And then another. And another…

71ShM+Z41pL._SL1400_Meg Hutchinson
Beyond That
Boston, MA
(Red House Records)
Produced by Crit Harmon
Mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance East, Cambridge, MA
www.meghutchinson.com

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