What I'm Listening To

Lately, a lot of Susanna Hoffs, both solo and with others. She was in the Bangles back in the '80s, of course, and then she put out a pair of solo albums, When You're A Boy in 1991 and the eponymous Susanna Hoffs in 1996. This year, she and Matthew Sweet came out with a superb collection of '60s cover tunes titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1, which has been in heavy rotation on my iPod.

When You're A Boy is one of my favorite CDs, because it showcases her clear, sweet voice so well. All four of the Bangles took turns on lead vocals on their albums, which often left fans of Susanna wanting more, and her first solo album delivered. Here is a video of one of the songs, "Unconditional Love":

I didn't really like her second solo album all that well. Her voice sounded a bit worn and strained, and she wasn't able to hit the soaring high notes that she had five years earlier. She had also taken more of a folk turn, thinking that her previous work had been too commercial and over-produced.

But now, ten years after that, she teamed up with Matthew Sweet on a their cover song project, and her voice is back in fine form. The songs run the gamut from familiar favorites originally done by the Beatles, the Who, Neil Young, the Mamas & the Papas, etc. to more obscure songs done by groups like The Left Banke and Sandy Denny, but there's not a bad song in the bunch. For anyone who enjoys her music, this one is a must have and well worth buying.

Here's a video of them singing Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl":