Susanna Hoffs: ‘Someday’


Susanna Hoffs: Someday

Susanna Hoffs may be best known as founding member of the all-female group The Bangles and wife of film director Jay Roach (famous for the Austin Powers films), but her latest self-released effort marks a long overdue return to her own pop music career with triumphant results. Someday is Hoffs’ third solo set and her first since 1996’s much ignored eponymous release. The honey-voiced songbird delivers a solid album with a feel-good vibe, which sounds authentic in its union of 1960s simplicity and 2012 sophistication (à la Dusty Springfield meets Adele).

The majority of Someday was co-written by Hoffs along with Nashville indie-artist Andrew Brassell, and helmed by veteran producer Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt). The 10-track song cycle is a sentimental, but compelling musical billet-doux to sixties-style melodies and emotive lyrics. The picturesque prose and folk-like sound of the infectious “November Sun” and the playful bounce of “One Day” instantly reel you away and find you yearning for simpler times.

Someday is the perfect soundtrack for a summertime rainy day that doesn’t overreach or become self-indulgent, but fulfills its goal of a delightfully enjoyable pop record. Here, Hoffs at long last mends her musical fences by making up for her promising but disjointed previous solo efforts (1991’s uneven When You’re A Boy and the forgettable banality of 1996’s Susanna Hoffs). This is easily and undeniably Hoffs’ most definitive musical statement to date.

© 2012 ForASong Media, LLC

Maroon 5: ‘Overexposed’

Overexposed (Deluxe Edition)

Maroon 5: Overexposed

Adam Levine and company have blatantly and unapologetically embraced pop music’s current mainstream sensibilities on Maroon 5’s recently released Overexposed, with polarizing results. The band’s newest album is likely to alienate longtime followers and music snobs alike, but will undoubtedly excite newer fans who embraced their massive smash hit “Moves Like Jagger,” which is the crowd this record clearly aims towards.

Despite being executive produced by Max Martin (the man responsible for crafting pop confections for the likes of Britney Spears and Katy Perry, which is a huge warning for the type of electro-dance-pop you’re going to find in abundance here), the album still manages to include a few glimpses of old school M5 for the die hards, such as the piano ballad “Sad” and the mid-tempo closer “Beautiful Goodbye.” Love it or hate it, Overexposed sounds ultra-contemporary and is spilling over the brim with plenty of infectious hooks and potential hits (including lead single “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa) for today’s beat oriented downloading musical culture.

© 2012 ForASong Media, LLC

Kenny Chesney: ‘Welcome to the Fishbowl’

Welcome To The Fishbowl

Kenny Chesney: Welcome to the Fishbowl

Kenny Chesney’s fifteenth studio album (and 11th number one), Welcome to the Fishbowl, finds him continuing to explore his more mature side which was hinted at on 2010’s Hemingway’s WhiskeyFishbowl displays a serious yearning to stretch and dig a little deeper into life’s foibles, as if Chesney is trying to figure them out himself, but in a good way.

The album’s name is taken from the bouncy title track, which finds Chesney pondering the consequences of celebrity for himself and for those who obtain notoriety through social media (“You don’t have to be famous now to be a star/Just get caught on video and there you are”). While Chesney has always pushed the limits of contemporary country, he seems to be slowly gravitating away from the good time drinking fare (a couple of those can be found here too) and choosing to tackle headier subject matter.

Although only three of the album’s songs were co-written by Chesney himself, Welcome to the Fishbowl still manages to sound highly personal and introspective. Chesney has an uncanny knack for finding top-shelf material which sounds autobiographical and mixing it with his own to craft a uniquely distinguishable musical statement.

© 2012 ForASong Media, LLC