HomeMusic“Be Big” by Stephanie Bettman

“Be Big” by Stephanie Bettman

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In the hands of a lesser talent, Stephanie Bettman’s “Be Big” could be sentimentally driven rubbish. With seven releases already under her belt and over fifteen years as one-half of the Folk/Americana duo Bettman & Halpin, “Be Big” is a very different fare. She explores a thoroughly adult point of view regarding self-empowerment while eschewing the standard platitudes about the subject. The writing throughout “Be Big” has lean power that’s undeniable.

URL: https://www.stephaniebettman.com/

Rarely will you ever hear a singer as committed as I hear her during the single. Bettman never plunges overboard into overzealous wailing though. She modulates her voice accordingly with each disparate section of the song and saves her best performance for the cut’s chorus. You can sometimes hear the lessons of a lifetime coming out of performances, particularly when the song in question is as close to the bone as this is for Bettman, and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that “Be Big” is a song that took her decades to live, yet a relatively short amount of time to write.

Several additions along the way help push it further over the top. I believe the electric guitar parts are the most important additions as they bolster the muscle of the tune without ever dislocating it from the anthemic pop that Bettman’s clearly chasing after. The instrument has the right amount of crunch without ever overwhelming listeners or throwing the single off-balance. The drumming is crucial as well. It drives the song’s powerful sense of dynamics without ever succumbing to a sense of overplaying that would otherwise clutter the song’s effect on listeners.

Dynamics are a critical reason why this song works so well. She doesn’t pursue a single trajectory throughout the song but shifts gears as necessary. It imbues “Be Big” with cinematic verse – this is big-screen pop music at its finest, and the combination of its rock influences with that dynamic range underlines that status for listeners. “Be Big” has dramatic heft without ever striking listeners a single time as ponderous. The fleet-footed way it flies by scoops listeners up and carries them to heights that the demure beginnings only hint at.

Her turn towards more personal writing works. There’s vulnerability galore throughout “Be Big”, but never the embarrassing kind. We aren’t witnessing a breakdown. However, there’s an implication informing each line that there was definitely a time in Bettman’s life when she wasn’t yet prepared to heed the song’s lessons.

That time has passed. “Be Big” is a glorious call to arms for Bettman and anyone listening to reach high, grab their life goals by the figurative throat, and shake them for all their worth. There’s no equivocating in this song. Stephanie Bettman throws herself fully into the performance without any hesitation, and hearing her caught up in the surrounding storm of the song’s music is invigorating to the max. She’s scored one of the year’s best singles with “Be Big”, and there’s no indication that her future releases will take their foot off the gas pedal.

Heather Savage

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