The Beginning

by David Belle

Track listing: Free, All Together As One, Connection, Don't You Worry, Wanna Take A Ride, Follow Me Down, This Old Love, Innocent One, Got a Good Feeling, Wanna Take A Ride (Extended)

We last ran across Haiti-based singer/songwriter, film & music producer David Belle in our January 2024 review of the lead-off single from The Beginning, "Free." As I get my first listen to the rest of the album, it's Belle's gruff vocal delivery that stands out most. He's got a Tom Waits level of seeming indifference to any damned thing--which makes this comparatively chill album as much punk rock as anything else out there. 

Yeah, it seems like Belle's got a good bead on things--his stories are ones you wanna hear, and you need to hear 'cause you're not gonna learn much else doing whatever else it is you're up to right now. And while Belle's voice is at the center of it all, it's worth doling out props to the fucking stellar musicianship he's got cookin' on this record. I can't rephrase the facts any better than they're written in the album's press release:

The Beginning is Belle’s debut album co-written and co-produced with Alessandro Meynardi and recorded at their Black Lotus recording studios in Los Angeles. Also appearing on The Beginning are Lorenzo Meynardi (drums), Riccardo Gresino (piano/organ), Rafi (backing vocals), Josie Maran (Lead vocals) and Grammy-winning Charlie McCoy (harmonica). Belle previously co-produced the benefit album Let the Rhythm Lead with Rock n Roll Hall of fame inductee Jackson Browne and singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer Jonathan Wilson. Browne’s track for the project "Love is Love" was co-written with Belle. It has subsequently been re-recorded and the new version of the song is included on Browne’s most recent album Downhill from Everywhere. Belle is currently recording his second album and looks to release one a year for the foreseeable future. He has traveled regularly since an early age and currently lives between the US and the French Caribbean.

Pretty straight-to-the-point, right? Couldn't have said it better myself.

"Don't You Worry" sticks out a bit from the rest of the album. It kicks in with a funky backbeat ala Dr. John, with that same lyrical omniscience you wish you had yourself. "Wanna Take A Ride" is co-written by Belle and McCoy, evoking the heat and dust depicted on the album art--walking down a deserted road in a hot-ass desert wearing all black, in a black hat, carrying a guitar. By the time the song hits a double-time crescendo toward its end, you know you've been picked up by some alluring soul willing to give you a ride to wherever. And so the fun begins! This is the life The Beginning conjures up for what a day in the life of international mystery man David Belle must be like. The full story is told through the song's extended version (13 damned minutes worth!) closing out the album.

The Beginning doesn't rock. It doesn't kick your ass. But it's a collection of songs that brings to life some bad ass imagery and imagination. You wanna hang out with David Belle and see what sort of life he lives that brings forth songs like these. Dive into and immerse yourself in his aura and music at

Posted on 5/23/24