Susanna Hoffs, The Deep End Review
Susanna Hoffs, the whimsical melody-maker behind the multi-platinum-selling Bangles, is diving back under the covers with her new album, The Deep End. With a delightful history of sprinkling her magic on tunes like Lightning Seeds’ “All I Want” and Oingo Boingo’s “We Close Our Eyes,” Hoffs once again proves her musical powers are sharp and on point, as she has partnered with legendary producer Peter Asher to take on a 13-song adventure across the decades with this collection of timeless gems by the Rolling Stones and Squeeze, as well as newer tracks by Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, Joy Oladokum, and Brandy Clarke. While albums of cover songs can be double-edged swords, Hoffs’ unique takes on these diverse tracks are both bright and fun. In addition, The Deep End makes a perfect companion to her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown (already destined for a movie adaptation). The book stories her enchanting journey, and it’s evident that Hoffs maintains her charm and daring spirit, reminiscent of the days when she set “Eternal Flame” ablaze and navigated “Manic Monday” over 30 years ago.
“Under My Thumb” is a cross between 80s pop and a Motown vibe. Hoff’s vocals are enjoyable, and the recording quality and playing are all beautiful. Waddy Wachtel’s guitar solo is excellent. Bringing this gem into the totally tubular glitzy realm of the 80s.
The “Deep End” has a little too much reverb on Hoffs’ vocals for my taste. Her singing shows convincing emotion and control, though. “You Don’t Own Me” is another shade of Hoffs’ vocal timbre. Especially in the last chorus, as she really digs deep and embellishes the melody. Yazoo’s “Only You” is another song that beautifully showcases Hoff’s vocals.
Hoffs rocks the soulful melody with smokin’ flair in her take on Joy Oladokun’s “If You’ve Got a Problem.” With a groovy blues-rock vibe, it’s clear Hoffs is jammin’ and expanding her musical influences. The bridge gets a boost from rad string sounds and another tasty solo from Wachtel.
Susanna Hoffs demonstrates her undeniable vocal prowess with The Deep End. Her captivating voice shines through, whether she’s sprinkling her magic on classic tunes or exploring new musical influences like the groovy blues-rock vibe of Joy Oladokun’s “If You’ve Got a Problem.” While some cover renditions on the album may make less of an impact than their original counterparts, Hoffs’ unique interpretations and undeniable charm still make the listening experience a pleasure. As a companion to her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown, The Deep End highlights Hoffs’ enduring spirit and talent, evoking fond memories of her days as a trailblazer in the ’80s music scene. The album offers a delightful blend of nostalgia and fresh perspectives, proving that Hoffs’ musical powers remain as sharp and on point as ever. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Susanna Hoffs: Website |
The Deep End
April 7, 2023
Baroque Folk Records