Remember the Bangles? They were quite popular in the 80s, with hits like Manic Monday, Walk Like an Egyptian, Eternal Flame, and A Hazy Shade of Winter. The band in its heyday consisted of the four women Susanna Hoffs, Debbie Peterson, Vicki Peterson, and Michael Steele. The band broke up for a while, got back together, and then lost one of its members (Michael Steele), though the other three kept going. As a group, the Bangles released an album as recently as 2011, Sweetheart Of The Sun.
During those times in the 90s when the band was not together, Susanna Hoffs released a couple of solo albums, which met with moderate success, but not enough for her recording company, Columbia, who cut her loose after her first solo album. Now, in 2012, even though she is still officially with the Bangles, who just recently finished a tour, Susanna Hoffs released a third solo album, Someday, and is headed out on a solo tour.
Many reviews of Someday talk about its retro 60s feel. When I listened to this album the first time, without having read those reviews, I wasn’t thinking that it sounded like 60s music. Sure, you can draw some comparisons between Susanna Hoffs on Someday and some of the 60s standard female vocalists, but that’s mostly because, even at age 53, Susanna Hoffs has a voice that can compare to those 60s greats.
Someday is an upbeat, feel-good pop album of the 10s. It doesn’t strive to be “cool” or “shocking” or “viral” like so much music these days, which might be part of the reason why some reviewers compare it to 60s music, but to me such comparison is a disservice to Susanna Hoffs. She has given us music that represents the culmination of her years as a musician, not a rehash of aged 60s motifs. This is pop music for today as much as that of any other contemporary pop artist.
I don’t know if Susanna Hoffs set out to make an album that sounded like 60s music. Maybe she did. I know she has done a couple of classic cover albums with Matthew Sweet, and she clearly has a liking for 60s and 70s music. So her appreciation for the classics comes through in her music now. But I prefer to think that she simply set out to make the best music she could that appealed to her as an artist. Someday is the result. If you listen to it and think it sounds like 60s music, fine. I hear a familiar female vocalist from the 80s and 90s giving me fresh, upbeat pop songs I’ve never heard before, and I love every one of them. They’re the kind of songs I can tap my feet to, I can put them on and relax to them without falling asleep or wanting to skip past any. (I can say the same thing about her first solo album, too.)
YouTube has a couple of music videos for songs from Someday.
My favorite track from Someday is This is the Place.
And just for good measure, here’s a cover by the Bangles of the song Open My Eyes, from their 2011 album, Sweetheart of the Sun. The song was composed by Todd Rundgren in the 60s for Nazz, a band he was with back then. Okay. I’d say it’s a safe bet that every member of the Bangles digs 60s music. Still, I don’t think 60s when I listen to this. I just think good music.
Oh, hell, just one more Bangles video. I have to do it. This is classic 80s.