Beth Jeans Houghton, or Du Blonde, is a multitalented artist from England who has been releasing music since 2015. Homecoming—her latest album—is a ten song mix of genres and tones, but mainly rock.

The opening track, “Pull The Plug,” is a rock song reminiscent of 80s rock. Houghton’s voice is low and smooth, almost in the style of Joan Jett. The guitar playing is fantastic in this song, which leads into an abrupt ending before “Smoking Me Out.” This next song starts with the talking of a distorted voice, which returns throughout the song and contrasts with Houghton’s voice and background harmonies. “I Can’t help You There” has a slightly slower pace, but masterfully mixes background vocals and instrumentation to make an extremely catchy song. If you only listen to one song off of this record, I recommend this one. “Ducky Daffy” holds to that same retro-rock tone, with slight vocal distortion and bold guitar and drums. The short track, just over one minute, continues the trend of abrupt transitions of the rest of Homecoming.

“Medicated,” a collaboration with Shirley Manson, opens up with what might be the coolest bit of guitar on the album. The track also has great, interesting lyrics: “I’m a medicated brain child // And I’m praying for my own reform.” “I’m Glad That We Broke Up” is fast and catchy, and sounds like it could easily fit into the soundtrack of an action movie. “All The Way” is a bit more melancholy, and really shows off Houghton’s talent as a vocalist. “Undertaker” is one of the heavier songs on the album, showcasing the vocals through harmonies and distorted guitar. “Take One For The Team” includes softer vocals with a backdrop of heavy guitar, including an absolutely amazing guitar solo. Closing track “Take Me Away” is more of a ballad and is backed with violin.

I am so glad I listened to this album. Every aspect of the album is well thought out and extremely interesting, which makes sense considering Houghton’s general artistic talent and attention to detail. My favorite part of this album was definitely the fantastic guitar parts, which really tie each song together.

I would recommend the album to anyone who enjoys listening to rock music, or anyone who wants to listen to a spectacularly well put together album by a singer with a great voice. This could also be a great listen for a summer playlist. 🙂

Picture credit comes from: https://www.dublonde.co.uk/music

-Meg Brown

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