- Beth Hart took some risks on 2015's Better Than Home, an ambitious record that sadly saw its co-producer, Michael Stevens, die from cancer during its recording. Given all this, it's not such a surprise to see Hart loosen up for its sequel, Fire on the Floor. Hart returned to the studio to cut this album before Better Than Home was released and it indeed feels fresh, even spontaneous. Certainly, it doesn't feel as weighty as Better Than Home, not with the humor and swagger that Hart displays throughout the album. She's helped with a selection of songs that showcase her versatility, bouncing between slinky jazz and grinding blues while finding space for outright rockers, funky soul, and a gospel-inflected ballad. None of this feels showy: instead, it feels like Hart is reconnecting with the reason why she makes music, and that's what gives Fire on the Floor a kick. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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