Susanna Hoffs: Someday
This album takes you on a time-traveling journey, but not the one you might expect from a former member of The Bangles. Susanna Hoffs has released Someday, her first solo album in 16 years. During the long gap, Hoffs reunited with The Bangles to release an album in 2003 (and currently tours with them) and joined Matthew Sweet to record ‘60s and ‘70s covers. Fun fact: she was also in Ming Tea, the fictional band fronted by Austin Powers with singles like “BBC” and “Daddy Wasn’t There” (she is married to the director of the films.) Hoffs’ love of the 1960s doesn’t end with cover albums and time-traveling movies, Someday is a testament to that. The entire album is filled with fluttery ‘60s folk influences. Her record label imprint is called Baroque Folk, which could double as a description for the album if you added pop to it. The frilly flutes, strings, and horns bring to mind the Baroque Era, or at least a song written by Burt Bacharach. On the first listen, the album may sound old-fashioned, but with additional listens you gain an appreciation for the details.
The lyrics seem sincere and have a maturity that is welcome in a 53-year-old (it’s hard to believe when you see her, but Hoffs is over age 50.) Most of the songs were co-written by Hoffs and Andrew Brassell, “Always Enough” sounds like it could be sung from a mother as a pep talk to her son, telling him that even though he’s unsure, he will always be enough. She also takes a reassuring tone in “Holding My Breath,” but seems to need some reassuring herself in “All I Need.” Insecurities come through with lyrics like “Honey you know I love you/ Long ago you passed the test/ I can’t seem to figure out/ Why I deserve the best of your love.” Some of the songs in the middle of the album tend to blend together due to the similar sounds, but the first track, “November Sun” stands out the most (possibly due to a different writing team) though it is still very similar to the rest of the tracks.
Hoffs’ distinct voice still sounds as young and innocent as it did on the Bangles hit “Eternal Flame.” These are catchy pop songs, but in a much different way from the pop hits that The Bangles created in the 1980s. If you want something more along the lines of Dusty Springfield than an ‘80s girl group, this album may be for you.
MP3: Susanna Hoffs “November Sun”
Susanna Hoffs: Someday