Subscribe to SoundAffects
email list:

Follow SoundAffects1 on Twitter



CD Reviews: Annie Bethancourt
Annie Bethancourt: The Garage Sessions
December 2003
By: Ami Lieberman
album cover of Angie Bethancourt's The Garage Sessions

It's easy to take singer/songwriter Annie Bethancourt seriously. At the ripe age of 22, she has grown up alongside such names as Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Christina Aguilera. However, she surpasses her peers with musical prowess in her debut, acoustic, self-released CD entitled The Garage Sessions. Recognized presently by only a sprinkle of fans in the San Diego area, Bethancourt has yet to take the national stage.

With songs that are lyrically daunting and dismal in tone, one must wonder what kinds of experiences she endured to write such words. Her melodies reflect the ambiance of her soul and despite their disheartened appearance, there are many hints into Annie's inherent positive personality and outlook, suggesting her songs give her the ability to recover and mature. While her songs purport pain and suffering, they also exhibit a great amount of strength and self-confidence.

One of the rarities of modern music is the writer's inability to admit her own shortcomings. Bethancourt embraces her faults and uses them to her own advantage by creating messages she can impart to the world. She vehemently sings And in my stubborn way I cry, in my own mind / And with my eyes, I'm silently pleading / But I never say / The words that I want to say / And in my stubborn way, I'll try to haltingly hold out my hand / But I always pull it back again, admitting her own fears and restrictions. This opening of her innermost feelings gives listeners an easy way to connect with this rising star.

Although Bethancourt readily acknowledges her own flaws, listeners will find none on this debut CD. She expertly covers various themes such as love, religion, and self-doubt in this powerful mix. And not to be forgotten is her astonishing voice that can be as sweet as candy in one song, but thunderous in another. It is likely that you haven't heard of Annie Bethancourt, but it won't be long until she's a household name.