Describing Beth Griffith as a ‘newcomer’ isn’t appropriate because she’s been in the industry since birth. She is the daughter of the late Johnny Griffith, who was a member of the Funk Brothers, the in-house band for Motown. Although daddy Griffith discouraged her from pursing a music career, her gift led her to work with industry greats like Boyz II Men, Yolanda Adams, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston and Anita Baker. She currently tours with Kem, providing backgrounds vocals.
Emerging from the shadows, the Detroit native’s energy illuminates on her debut album, Free. Her lush vocals are the perfect soundtrack for those who appreciate grown & sexy vibes. She co-wrote most of the songs with women in mind. “Every song is describing a different type of relationship that a woman has been in,” she says. “Whether it’s good or it’s bad … including a relationship with yourself.”
Released on Griffith’s label, Anise Records, Free is an intimate affair with pure artistry. It features production by Grammy Award nominated hitmakers, Michael J. Powell (Anita Baker), Erik “Blu2th” Griggs (Jordin Sparks), Marcus “Daheatmizer” Devine (112) and Cordell Walton (Charlie Wilson). Well blended smooth grooves and uptempo anthems deliver a superb experience.
The familiar drama of love comes through on the piano led “Love Hurts,” along with the sassy “High Heels,” and the funky “Cheater.” A softer, sensual side shows up on ballads such as “Pillow Talk,” the lead single on which her man gets some TLC. “Waiting, waiting on the first kiss to take me there / But I’m already there with the thought of you / I need all of you … Oh! lay your head down on my pillow / Tonight’s the night I finally feel you,” she sings.
Not everyone can cover classics well, but her passionate delivery of the ’80s jam “I Just Want To Be Your Girl” will give you chills. Other highlights include the title track “Free” and “A Million Miles Away,” both of which are already fan favorites.
On “Gratis,” the former “Dancing With The Stars” singer leaves you with words from a queen who is beginning her reign. “I betcha didn’t think I’d be here. I betcha didn’t know that I could. I betcha didn’t know that I’m a fighter for what’s true and what’s good … Remember, I’m the truth, baby, and the truth is always free.”
Free is available now on all digital outlets. Stream it below via Spotify.