November 14, 2019

Susanna Hoffs - Someday (2012) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop Rock, Folk
Label Number: 78253-2
☠: Selected by Lass
© 2012 Baroque Folk
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra
Since the release of her last solo album in 1996, Susanna Hoffs has stayed busy with the re-formed Bangles for two albums and recording two albums of covers with her friend Matthew Sweet. The covers albums were nostalgic exercises and the Bangles albums were decent enough; the most recent one, 2011's Sweetheart of the Sun, even had some moments that nearly captured the feel of the band's earliest recordings. Judging from what she's been up to over the past 15 years, it would seem the most one could expect from a Hoffs solo album would be something nice but not much more than that. Surprisingly then, Someday ends up being some of the best music Hoffs has been associated with. Working with Nashville musician Andrew Brassell and producer Mitchell Froom, Hoffs creates an intimate and sweet album that frames her tender vocals with subtle arrangements that trade the jangle of the Bangles for an autumnally rich chamber pop sound. Strings, horns, even clarinets fill the spaces around her unassuming melodies and gently strummed guitars. Hoffs sounds relaxed and peaceful throughout the album; unlike on her previous solo work, it doesn't sound like she's desperately looking for a hit. That's not to say the songs are in any way not completely catchy and filled with hooks; they are, and most of the album would fit in perfectly on an adult-oriented radio station. Hoffs and Brassell write easily hummable choruses and punchy little pop songs. "Picture Me" bops along like a bruised Dusty Springfield song, "Raining" (a song she first started writing in 1989 with Heartbreaker Mike Campbell) is an insistent jangle pop heartbreaker with a lovely chorus, "This Is the Place" chugs along happily with a distant horn section punctuating Hoffs' sweet words of love. The ballads are nice, too -- Hoffs isn't the most expressive singer ever but she can wring some emotion out of simple melodies (with lots of help from Froom's very expressive arrangements). And the little crack in her voice she uses now and then works like a magic charm. In fact, the entire album has a low-key magic that is made all the more powerful by being such an unexpected treat. It's pretty rare that someone would make the best record of her career so far into it; Hoffs has done it, though, and Someday is an album perfect for not only her fans, but also fans of well-crafted, emotionally true adult pop.

tags: susanna hoffs, someday, some day, 2012, flac,


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