The human voice is the defining characteristic that separates a song from a piece of music. Music on its own carries an immense amount of emotional and psychological weight, however, without the context of language, music deals with the broader brush strokes of emotions and the mindset. Lyrics, and the nature of their delivery, dig deeper into the specifics of a particular emotional or mindset complexity. It is the lyrics, which give us more detail, and enriches the narrative with context and, in return, take on pathos and depth from the notes sung, and the chords played around them. Hence the importance of able lyricists within the music industry.
Brian Beecher is an able and prolific lyricist, who has written over a thousand song lyrics. He works with a recording outfit of singers and musicians who set his prose to music. Brian is most proud of his single “Lady of the Books”, which was inspired by a conversation he had with a retiring librarian at his local library, on her final day. Beecher unfolds all existential pros and cons of retirement within a heartwarming story filled with enlightening anecdotes and nuances.
Brian Beecher’s pen is focused and laser sharp, throughout “Lady of the Books”, as it elaborates every narrative detail with scrupulous care. “Linda’s been a librarian for over thirty years, but when the last day came she tried hard to hold back the tears. The rigors of the daily grind were getting to her soul, having seen the world evolve from roll cards to digital. She knew in her heart that now was the time to go,” are the opening lines, which powerfully pull us into this immersive story.
It helps that the folk and country flavored soundscape is all embracing and easy on the ear. The organically driven backdrop is awash with shimmering acoustic guitars notes, and gently oscillating waves of emotional strings.
The vocals are crystalline and melodic, guiding an infectious melody, which delivers Brian Beecher’s words with thoughtfulness, skill, and grace. Qualities, which seem to reflect Linda’s long and dignified career as a librarian.
Brian Beecher also accurately captures the contrasting emotions of retirement, rather eloquently, as he writes: “For the next few weeks she settled into new routines. She now knew the retirement was her cup of tea,” and then a few bars down the line, he declares: “She’s been a lady of the books for as long as she can remember, checking in new titles from January to December. But there are folks there she will never forget, so her choice is sprinkled with a touch of regret,” which fully explains all the emotional contractions involved in retirement.
Lyrics and singing are popular folk and country music’s greatest deal-breakers. Here on “Lady of the Books”, both the singer, and lyricist Brian Beecher, have excelled at their work. Beecher has strived and succeeded at accurately describing the librarian’s story, from his insightful perspective.
While the singer has equally, rendered Beecher’s narrative authentically enlightening and affecting. Ultimately, both the singer and the lyricist have also avoided the easy trap of overwrought melodrama usually connected with such themes, which in itself is a major achievement.