One of America's finest undiscovered singer-songwriters, Chapman lost her husband to cancer in 1995, and this emotionally rich collection details her process of loss, reconciliation, and healing. Jim Ed Norman's strong pro... more »duction ranges from piano-based ballads ("The Color of Roses," "No One Knows But You") to exuberant rootsy pop (lead single "Happy Girl," "All the Time in the World"). This is music with a tender grasp on the big picture. --Jeff Bateman« less
One of America's finest undiscovered singer-songwriters, Chapman lost her husband to cancer in 1995, and this emotionally rich collection details her process of loss, reconciliation, and healing. Jim Ed Norman's strong production ranges from piano-based ballads ("The Color of Roses," "No One Knows But You") to exuberant rootsy pop (lead single "Happy Girl," "All the Time in the World"). This is music with a tender grasp on the big picture. --Jeff Bateman
"I ran across this beautiful collection of songs, quite by chance, while watching a recent episode of ER. The episode was titled "Sand and Water" and ended with that song playing in the background. I was instantly struck by its haunting melody and the poignance and powerful imagery of the lyrics. I used the Internet to search on that title and found the CD. After listening to it several times now, it has achieved a status as one of the favorites of my life. I lost my mother not too long ago and I have struggled with my grief and finding words to express my feelings. The experience of hearing Beth's beautiful voice express her thoughts is finally helping me reach depths within my soul that I have been unable to find before. To quote her from the liner notes on the CD, 'in my experience there is no way around grief - there is only through to the other side'. To all those who are having similar problems in dealing with the loss of someone you loved so very much, please share my wonderment by discovering Beth Nielsen Chapman and her astonishing creation. Thank you Beth. You have my heartfelt gratitude."
Finally, after 3 years, I can listen all the way through
Elizabeth Flygare | Midwest | 10/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I lost my dad to cancer in 1997. A close friend gave me this beautiful CD, and I tried to listen to it but I couldn't get through it--it was so heart-wrenching. Then - like everyone else, I saw the second episode of ER this season and realized that I owned a recording of the beautiful song, "Sand and Water," sung at the end. I got out the album and listened to it over and over. I didn't like the uptempo tracks (Happy Girl, etc) -so-the second time through, I programmed it to play only the melodic ballads. WOW!I can be very moved by music, but not to the point of tears - with one exception - hearing the title track of this album. Beth Nielsen Chapman has accomplished seemingly the impossible - she has expressed the personal, gut-wrenching experience of loss and grief without being cloying. This is a tasteful, exquisite recording. I recommend it."
What an amazing gift.
AJ | AZ | 12/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Her music, lyrics, voice...the whole package that is Beth Nielsen-Chapman...a treasure that is to be shared. I just wish that more people have heard of her. When someone hears her songs, they ask me all the time who it is. I send them to the store. They buy one cd...they buy her next one...every friend who I have introduced this amazing songwriter, have all gone to get their own copy soon thereafter. "Sand and Water" is one woman's way of saying goodbye to her husband, but it becomes everyone's way of dealing with loss after listening to it. "Say Goodnight" is reminding us that after someone dies, the memory is always with you. You may have only had them for a moment in time, but the memory lives on. It is about time that Beth has been given some recognition, even though it was with "This Kiss". Hopefully that will bring people to her. It is about time."
Beth Nielsen Chapman's Sand & Water has touched my soul.
Debra Avery | Lubbock, Texas, USA | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The moment I heard her voice on the second episode of ER this season I knew I had to have this CD. I called the local NBC affiliate and could get no information. When the episode aired again last night, I found other ER junkies online and they identified Beth Neilsen Chapman for me. I especially love her tender ballads; they remind me of another favorite artist, Mary Chapin Carpenter. The title track, Sand and Water, speaks for my heart since I have lost my mother to cancer, my husband to AIDS and my baby daughter to meningitis and myocarditis. I thank God for someone who has the gift to express the emotions that stir inside many of us. Beth Neilsen Chapman is truly a treasure about to be discovered."
Adding regrets to the tears and color of roses
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 12/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing a figure skater doing a song "The Color Of Roses" by Lorrie Morgan, I discovered that it was a cover song. Who did that splendid song originally? In the process of finding out that it was Beth Nielsen Chapman, I further discovered that she had done the album Sand And Water in the wake of her husband's death to cancer, and many of the sad heartfelt ballads reflect that loss and the many stages of grief she went through.In coping, it's clear Beth tries to take things philosophically. The dual dynamics of life are explored in the piano and strings ballad "The Color of Roses" "Life gives us magic/and life brings us tragedy/everyone suffers some loss/still we have some faith in it""Beyond The Blue" which includes some excerpts from the Paramahansa Yogananda Cosmic Chants demonstrates her gentle but soaring vocals, which has a gentle substance like Carole King or Karla Bonoff, but smoother. "This life is but a dream/go gently down the stream..." seems to have a Taoist element in there.The stresses of everyday burning away "All The Time In The World" is a mid-paced light country rocker. "These precious days we live through/thrown away like tissue/I wish I could give you all the time in the world" she sings. And she further sings she would dodge cops, jump ditches, and drive eighty miles an hour just to do that.The title track is just as tearful as "The Color of Roses" as it shows how we are forced to do some things "all alone", such as trying to find meaning amid the pain, in Chapman's case, this meaning her loss and how she will have to raise their son by herself. "All alone I came into this world/all alone I will someday die/solid stone is just sand and water, baby/sand and water, and a million years gone by" goes the chorus. Chapman got a shot in the arm when Elton John heard this and began performing it live."Fair Enough" veers more light guitar jazz than the country rock or melodic ballads. "Seven Shades Of Blue" is an intimate folk song featuring Michael McDonald as a guest vocalist. A very tactile song at one point, where she describes the rain like "little knives upon our tongues.""Happy Girl" is a more upbeat number about the transformation going from "a face of stone and a heart of gloom", "standing in a corner wearing concrete shoes" to "roll[ing] my heart out like a welcome mat." The harmonica, mandolin, and bandoleon give this a more folky tinge, kind of like Mellencamp during his Lonesome Jubilee days."No One Knows But You" is another piano ballad, where she sings about feeling her lost one's presence. The bridge totally shows her devotion: "And if there is some magic/some way around these stars/.../I'll cry this empty canyon/an ocean full of tears."Bonnie Raitt shows up as guest vocalist for "Heads Up For The Wrecking Ball" a song about keeping oneself solid in the mean old world, and to do the title thing. Slide dulcimers, accordions, and dobros give this a slight folky tinge."Say Goodnight", as opposed to saying goodbye, is another coping mechanism for loss. Another tearful piano and strings ballad that closes the album, although there is a brief instrumental of "The Color Of Roses" that's on the same track.A few tissues for the more soft-hearted is recommended on songs like the title track, "The Color of Roses" and "Say Goodnight." This is a very personal album and Chapman finds an effective way to cope with her loss. After listening to this, I feel like giving her a nice warm hug and saying "It's gonna be okay.""