Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
rare import, OOP HTF
rare import, OOP HTF
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Worthwhile mix of alterna-rock and mellow songs
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 10/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those who expected songs that might be titled "On Your Side Of The Bed" or would have formed the Bangles fourth album, think again! Susanna Hoffs has teamed up with songwriters including David Baerwald, late of the short-lived 80's duo David & David. The songs are acoustic, folky, and more like Aimee Mann, although there are some sounds closer to alternative. There is a bittersweet touch in some of her songs. Her sugary voice sometimes becomes grainy and hoarse when she tries to hit the high notes, but overall it's recognizable and sweet."Beekeeper's Blues" is lover's karma. The woman has been burned in tangling with some slick lady's man, but bravely and stoically says, "No good deed will go unpunished/No beekeeper goes unstung" And there is a nod to Nancy Sinatra when she sings "and these boots are made for walking"."All I Want" is a dreamy but mid-paced semi alt-rock number, where she basically wants to follow her feelings and make a difference for tomorrow, because tomorrow's here. "All I want to say/is everything I feel from now on". And whoever is around had better listen to what she says."Enormous Wings" begins with Susanna speaking through a tape recorder, which repeats the verses in a weird distorted backing vocal in the verses, then exploding with an expansive alternative-rock guitar sound. I can't imagine this on any Bangles album or Hoff's debut, When You're A Boy."Falling", co-written by Charlotte Caffey and with drums by Mick Fleetwood, has a light-alternative sound. A more melodic sound is present in the tender acoustic guitar/piano ballad "Darling One". This is one of the two favourites here. She offers a shoulder of comfort for someone searching for that something not lost."King Of Tragedy" with its steady pulsing bass and drumbeat, and a bluesy guitar, is about a guy with a girlfriend a cross between Gwenyth Paltrow, Emma Peel, and Kathy Lee--hard to picture that one. Anyway, the protagnist is emotionally bound to help this guy, especially when he presses her guilt button."Eyes Of A Baby" is about a blind date that becomes a dream come true. "Did you see him smile?" she sings triumphantly. Things go from "eyes of my baby/eyes of my man" to "eyes of my baby/eyes of a child", i.e. they've taken that step beyond. Love that snarling altenative fuzz guitar. A similar sound is evoked on "Happy Place.""Those Days Are Over" is a reunion between two people. The man was lost in a drunken haze and now he's returned, apparently renewed. The tempo is languid but lacks anything that tugs at me.With 8 December 1980 mentioned, people familiar with that date will know what this song is about. The appropriately titled "Weak With Love" brought memories of John Lennon's death flooding back, and she tells of how shocked her brother was upon hearing the news, that he says, "I do not want to tell you this" and "would not meet my eyes": "Please comfort me/and shelter me/I am weak with love" she sings. This is my favourite song here and serves as a great way to end the album, fitting as the Beatles were an obvious influence to the Bangles.The two hidden tracks are cover songs, Stealer Wheels' "Stuck In The Middle" and Lulu's "To Sir With Love." She does a great job on both, particularly the latter. The soaring strings are replicated on that song. As for the other, there's a nice bluesy guitar with that 70's wacka wacka guitar sound, but also a blast of searing fuzz guitar.The results are mixed, and it shows she can handle a more laid back sound as well as alternative. It doesn't always work but it shows she's evolved from the Bangles and the pop of her debut album. Worthy effort worth listening to."
Time to reflect...
V. Berrini | NJ, United States | 10/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What with the Bangles reunion happening as we speak, why not take a moment to honor this wonderful neglected gem of a pop album?In direct contrast to her first piece-of-garbage solo effect When You're A Boy, Susanna Hoffs' 1996 self-titled effort showcases her strengths perfectly. With an ultra-cool supporting cast (Matthew Sweet, Jon Brion, Charlotte Caffey, Jellyfish's Roger Manning and Jason Faulkner, That Dog's Petra and Rachel Haden) and clean but ever-so-slightly-edgy production of the consistantly melodic, interesting, and lyrically intimate songs, Susanna did everything right on this album. It didn't do her much good commercially, but hopefully she'll get her reward in Pop heaven.There's the gorgeous seductive pop of "Falling", the keen Aimee Mann-esque character sketch "Beekeeper's Blues", the crunchy, grungy "Enormous Wings", the heartbreakingly gorgeous "Darling One", and the deceptively sprightly "King Of Tragedy". There's the Lightning Seeds classic which Susanna turned into a (very) minor hit, "All I Want". And then there's the duo of wonderful (and uncredited) covers at the record, "To Sir With Love" and "Stuck In The Middle With You" (which, incidentally, you don't have to buy the Japanese version to hear). Susanna's voice is slightly huskier then usual throughout but it works perfectly for the material.A brilliant power pop album for anyone who reveres the likes of Michael Penn, Aimee Mann and Matthew Sweet, and a welcome return to form for Susanna following a nasty, nasty fall from grace brought on by egomania and misguided artistic decisions. "Eternal Flame" and When You're A Boy can fall of the face of the earth for all I care, but I'll love this album until the day I die."
What a great discovery!
Aaron Blight | Westminster, Maryland United States | 12/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Remember the Bangles, the band that was wildly popular in the 1980's? Well, this little lady was their lead singer. I recently purchased this CD, and I must say that this album demonstrates that Susanna Hoffs is a wonderfully talented musician. This CD is packed with well-written songs (Susanna was a contributing writer for most of them) that include infectious, soaring melodies carried by the voice of an angel. This is a predominately folksy soft rock album, which in some instances could pass for today's modern crossover country music. In fact, on the opening track, "Beekeeper's Blues," Susanna could almost pass for one of my favorite country singers, Deana Carter. Susanna's voice closely resembles Deana's, especially when she sings such a country-sounding song. "Beekeeper Blues" is a wonderfully entertaining opening track, and after that Susanna keeps rolling out the excellent songs on this disc. "Darling One" is a particular favorite; it's a dreamy, beautiful song, graced by Susanna's soothing vocals and the steady strumming of her guitar, which almost feels like a gentle caress. "Eyes of a Baby" is another gem, a clever song about meeting a man and starting a family. This album has upbeat pop music; groovy, funky rhythms; and soft, introspective ballads. Susanna has the confidence to persuasively deliver the range of tunes, and her voice is mesmerizing on all of them. Don't take the lack of a hit single as evidence this album is not worth your money. To the contrary, one listen to this album makes you wonder WHY nobody ever paid much attention to it. This is an excellent CD!!!"