Friday, November 18, 2011
I feel compelled to set the record straight here. Too many people have been gushing about how great this new record from The Bangles is that I just have to chime in. I’ve been a fan of these girls for 30 years on, but to give “Sweetheart of The Sun” anything more than 2 stars is being overly generous. Yes, it is still a sublime experience to hear those trademark harmonies, but even those magical moments can’t pull this lackluster batch of songs out of the bin of mediocrity.
“Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)” is an okay start to the album – the song didn’t blow me away by any means, but it wasn’t a chore to get through. I grew optimistic after hearing the next cut, the very good “Under A Cloud”. Also ear pleasing is the gentle midtempo ballad, “I’ll Never Be Through With You”. After the decent “Mesmerized”, the record just fizzles into a great ball of hook free blandness. Not helping is the notable lack of Susanna Hoffs tunes – despite the years instilling a bit of a rasp in her voice, hers is still the sweetest and it isn’t heard enough.
On this outing, the Bangles lost an original member (Michael Steele) but gained Matthew Sweet. Sweet has been collaborating with Hoffs for years now, with the two of them producing a couple well received records of 70s cover tunes. The love for that music often spills into “Sweetheart of the Sun”, but just doesn’t fill the cup. Vocally, the Bangles aren’t missing a note, but the production is flaccid and songs too uninteresting to write home about. Instead, go check out 2003’s comeback record “Doll Revolution”.
iPOD-worthy: 2, 4, 5
The Bangles – Facebook.
Check out “I’ll Never Be Through With You”