Recent Interviews  *  Someday Reviews  *  Concert Reviews  *  Under the Covers, Vol. 3 Reviews and Interviews Recent Interviews "Stagecoach 2014: Susanna Hoffs Talks about Old Songs and New"-- Los Angeles Times "Susanna Hoffs Gearing Up for Stagecoach, Shares Her Favorite Musical Memories"-- Yahoo Music Someday Reviews Someday Cover Final"... her latest self-released effort marks a long overdue return to her own pop music career with triumphant results. ... The honey-voiced songbird delivers a solid album with a feel-good vibe, which sounds authentic in its union of 1960s simplicity and 2012 sophistication (à la Dusty Springfield meets Adele). ... Someday is the perfect soundtrack for a summertime rainy day that doesn’t overreach or become self-indulgent, but fulfills its goal of a delightfully enjoyable pop record. ... This is easily and undeniably Hoffs’ most definitive musical statement to date." -- American Songwriter "Sounding as if 'Manic Monday' was just yesterday, the Bangle picks the perfect season to return with an album that has 'summer' written all over it. These sun-kissed, retro-'60s songs show that she's lost none of her girlish charm." -- People "The strings in 'Always Enough' sound like they could have just fallen off the Tallahatchie Bridge in 'Ode to Billy Joe,' while 'Picture Me' has a Bacharach-like flurry of woodwinds that could make Dionne Warwick weep. ... At 53, Hoffs sounds as girlish and vulnerable as ever. Small wonder you could imagine songs like 'Always Enough' or 'Holding My Breath' being covered by Lulu or Cilla Black back in the day. As studiously retro as such references may be, the album never feels like an intellectual exercise or an act of regression. The melodies have a faithful ache, and the arrangements a meticulous charm, that fully earns their sources’ beloved company." -- New York Daily News "Susanna Hoffs' new song 'Picture Me' is so stunning it could be a lost Bacharach & David song for Dusty Springfield. Check it out." -- David Wild (Rolling Stone, Musicians) "... 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. ... 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." -- AllMusic "Listening to Bangles member Susanna Hoffs’ solo album is a bit like walking through a flower patch on a sunny spring day, circa 1967. The birds are chirping. Everyone you see smiles. Everything’s groovy. ... Even when Hoffs sings, 'ooh, it hurts' on 'Regret,' it hurts so good." -- Associated Press "Susanna Hoffs opens this album by channeling her inner George Harrison on the charming ‘November Sun,’ a catchy tune that’s as bright as it title implies, with a nursery-rhyme simplicity that instantly embeds it in your mind. The Beatles influence is also evident on ‘Picture Me,” a country/pop confection with ‘Strawberry Fields’-inspired horn fills, and ‘True,’ a ballad as sweet as a McCartney love song, with swooning strings set of by a clanging electric guitar.” -- Magnet "... Hoffs virtually time travels to the lush, ultra-sophisticated period of Burt Bacharach/Hal David radio pop. It's unapologetically retro without a trace of kitsch or irony, and when Hoffs wraps her still-girlish voice around phrases that mirror the moves of Petula Clark or Dusty Springfield, she distills complex sentiments into moments of engrossing emotional clarity." -- MusicRadar "...with her latest, Someday, the diminutive, dreamy-voiced Hoffs appears to have found a new — and fitting — sound. At 53-years-young, Hoffs sounds as pure as ever. The difference is this time it is over a backdrop that is both retro and contemporary, as opposed to anachronistic. There are elements of ’60s lush girl-pop in the string arrangements and bouncy melodies, like a smoother She and Him, but the singer-songwriter feel brings to mind Dar Williams and Shawn Colvin. Most of the songs were co-written with guitarist Andrew Brassell, of the gritty indie-rock outfit And The Relatives, escorting Hoffs into the 21st century. ... Someday is a departure from anything Susanna Hoffs has done, but it feels like the album she should have made 10 years ago. Hopefully, it is a sign of more good things to come." -- Mxdwn "Never one to rest on her laurels, Hoffs is back with yet another solo effort, Someday, which once again demonstrates Hoffs’ talents as a songwriter and performer. Someday is a far more mature album than any of her earlier work. If you’re looking for this year’s 'Manic Monday' or 'Walk Like an Egyptian,' then you’ll likely be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for well-crafted California folk pop with a heavy dose of the 1960s thrown in, then you’re going to love what’s on Someday.” -- Post and Courier "This all-original, 10-track collection by this prolific songwriter confirms Hoffs’ ability to intertwine the baroque folk/pop style into ear-pleasing arrangements. Combined with her signature raspy vocals and the record’s vintage vibe, these songs transport the listener back to a (peaceful) place as Hoffs paints the vivid picture of ‘wishing you were kissin’ Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream’ … From the opening song, ‘November Sun,’ to the last beat of ‘True,’ this album brings the audience on a groovy journey through the eras of Hoffs' illustrious career." -- Elmore magazine "The combo of the jangle and the Bangle (I know, cheap rhyme.) on the album’s first cut, 'November Sun' (the only track not co-written with Brassell), is top-notch retro pop with a nifty arrangement including strings, woodwinds, and electric piano. There’s even some R&B swing and horns blended with more strings on 'Holding My Breath.' 'Raining,' co-written by Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, is a foot-tapping sleeper hit (if FM radio had any sense at all). 'Always Enough' is a heartfelt, breathy valentine of the first order." -- Examiner.com "Produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Suzanne Vega), the album by the sometimes-Bangle lead singer manages to pay homage to the era without ripping it off. The 10 songs, co-written with Nashville songwriter Andrew Brassell, stand on their own as solid, melodic pop tunes, but Froom’s production -- a harpsichord one minute, horns the next -- is like sepia-toning a photograph. It lends a certain authenticity that instantly brings a warmth and happiness to each song." -- Hooks and Harmony "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." -- Mystic Sounds "Susanna Hoffs’ new album, Someday, is like a breath of fresh air accompanied by warm California sunshine. There are jangly guitars reminiscent of the Byrds’ best, choruses that sound like they could have been on a Turtles’ hit, and lead vocals that bounce along on top of it all." -- Daily Local "From the album cover to the song selection, everything about this album seems intent on harkening back to those halcyon days of the 60s when landmark songs seemed to come at you from all angles, not so much screaming for your attention, but deceptively seducing you one note at a time. With producer Mitchell Froom, Hoffs has created the album of her career ..." -- Superior St. "The featured single, 'Raining,' is a beautifully intense number that calls to mind the deep emotional feelings after a relationship breakup, but also shows how strong a woman can be afterward. The horns, orchestration and driving beat give this track its passionate feel. ... But the crown jewel isn't the lush instrumentation or the emotional pull. The highlight is Hoffs' luscious, lilting vocals, which bring forth memories of sweeter, sunnier days, when music was melodic and meaningful. Someday is a brilliant album." -- Times Record News "...Someday, an album that caresses your heart and soothes the pain for a while whilst revealing a deeply personal side that parades throughout the album, out in the open and with unabashed sincerity ... is full of whimsy, it begs to be taken as a very serious recording that has soul, not the music style but something very spiritual attached to it and something definite that sneaks past you only to be noticed by how much you have enjoyed it later." -- Liverpool Student Media "I don’t see this as a time-warp album; I see it as a testament to the timelessness of good melody. It might sound like a decades-old musical style (one that would simply have been laughed at in the '80s), but it is apparent by the way things fit together that Susanna Hoffs’ voice belongs here. This is a style that fits her like a well-tailored piece of clothing, and she wears it with grace and dignity. ... And here’s another remarkable thing about Someday: it doesn’t feel forced or stressed. ... She sounds relaxed, at rest, comfortable. In short, she sounds like she has found herself. As a result, the album plays sort of like a long, relieved exhale." -- Music Is My Oxygen "The album is a sublime delight, awash in such halcyon influences as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Burt Bacharach, and Dusty Springfield while retaining an original, fresh feel. 'Picture Me,' for instance, could well be a lost treasure from Dusty in Memphis. ... To say that Someday is the best work Susanna Hoffs has done doesn’t cheapen or denigrate any of her past efforts, whether with the Bangles, Matthew Sweet or on her own -- and while I’m tempted to write just that, the truth is it’s far too soon to make such a sweeping pronouncement. So I’ll say this instead: it’s the best album I’ve heard all year. And I’ve heard a lot." -- Horsham Patch "Susanna Hoffs' latest solo studio effort is superb! It is beautiful, authentic, warm, captivating, and recorded and written from the heart. This record truly showcases her range and versatility as a singer-songwriter. ... It is a must for any fan of pop, rock, folk, indie or adult contemporary music. Someday garners a solid 'A' rating." -- Suite101 "...she's never recorded as note-perfect an homage to the lush pop of that era as she has on Someday. Hoffs is a classicist at heart, and, nearly 30 years into her career, she's never sounded as natural and at ease as she does here. ... Stylistically, Someday makes for a natural extension of the Bangles' recent Sweetheart of the Sun in that it sounds more like an album that's been unearthed after 50 years than it does a contemporary recording. That's as much a credit to engineer David Boucher as it is to Hoffs and producer Mitchell Froom, as there are no traces of modern 'loudness war' compression in the recording. Every instrument on Someday — and 'Holding My Breath' alone boasts both string and brass sections and a fantastic clavinet run — has plenty of elbow room, and that depth and purity of sound contributes to the album's decidedly vintage vibe." -- Slant Magazine "Hoffs has proven herself as a songwriter with this album. Sure, she can also write great pop music and she is still cute as a bug, but with Someday she graduates from Top 40 MTV videos, where she walks funny, to an emotional, and insightful, artist. This one is mellow and rooted in the past but, that said, there is a freshness about it that fits like a comfortable pair of slippers on a relaxing Sunday morning." -- Classic Rock Revisited "...I find a great deal of the tracks irresistible. The combo of the jangle and the Bangle (I know, cheap rhyme) on the album’s first cut, 'November Sun' (the only track not co-written with Brassell), is top-notch retro pop with a nifty arrangement including strings, woodwinds, and electric piano. ... All of these instruments and contributors have helped to accentuate the greatest instrument of all. They blend in the background almost like a soft blanket that allows Hoffs’ vocals to be as comfortable and vital as possible. These elements combined make the most complete and enjoyable album of new material Susanna Hoffs has ever released, including Bangles records." -- Big Take Over "This CD does not sound like anything else Susanna Hoffs has ever recorded. For the most part, this collection of songs is very understated, organic sounding, and very poignant. To me, this is her 'Joni Mitchell' type CD where she shows her chops as a true singer/songwriter. This time, her collaborator on most songs is Andrew Brassell, a Nashville musician. This may explain the laid back, understated feel of the CD. Let’s start with that voice. Hoffs has one of the most recognizable voices in pop music. After all these years, it is still silky smooth. ... Don’t expect a Bangles record. No, Susanna Hoffs is evolving. Sounding very content, she has given her fans a fine, mature record. Let’s just hope that it finds an audience that reaches far beyond her fans. It would be a shame if this was not heard." -- Fab4Free4All “Hoffs' voice has never sounded better as these songs prove that she can still deliver some gems. The album is full of great songs and melodies that will get stuck in your head very quickly. ‘Holding My Breath’ is very reminiscent of an early '70s Kinks tune. … Hoffs has delivered perhaps her finest vocal accomplishment. This album is chock full of excellent songs and is a very upbeat experience. Needless to say it is a strong candidate for one of the best releases from 2012.” -- Rock Show Critique From Me to You Reviews "In this heartfelt EP, Susanna Hoffs brings out some of the best that 1960s pop music has to offer and she introduces them to a brand new generation of fans. Her vocals on here are mellifluous, sultry, moving, and upbeat. She is able to take these three obscure songs and make them her own." -- Suite101 Concert Reviews tcan"Hoffs is so self-deprecating and, well, adorable, even at (unbelievably) 53, that her 90-minute set felt like a comfortable gathering in a living room (or, as she joked, one “with a giant bar in the middle of it”)... But charming as she was as a person, Hoffs also excelled vocally and musically... In a setting such as Eddie’s, there is no place for processed vocals or super-layered songs and Hoffs delivered, relying on the strength of her vibrato for 'Picture Me,' a bouncy little piece of musical sunshine, and leaning wearily into 'Willin’,' a song she and Sweet covered for volume two of their Under the Covers series." -- Atlanta Music Scene (Eddie's Attic; Atlanta, Georgia; October 29, 2012) "She and her newly formed band began to take the crowd down memory lane with the sounds of the '60s, and the twelve-string accompaniment made the old hippies in the crowd think of The Byrds and Tom Petty, with a touch of George Harrison. The crowd enjoyed medleys from The Bangles, a few cover songs, and new music just released on Susanna’s brand new CD Someday ... In addition to Susanna’s crisp vocals, her five-piece band was right on the money! From the groove laid down by drummer Jim Laspesa, or the unsung heroism of bassist Derrick Anderson, the style of percussionist John Calacci, and the magic riffs and licks coming from guitarist Andrew Brassell, this night had a little of everything for those looking back to simpler times, or for those who just wanted to rock and let go." -- Guitar Girl magazine (Eddie's Attic; Atlanta, Georgia; October 29, 2012) "Although the evening's song selections spanned numerous decades and composers, two things kept the night a consistent pleasure. The first was Hoffs' four-man band, which played with clean, pop precision and dressed in costume for the occasion ... The second, and key, element was Hoffs herself, whose voice hasn't lost a smidgeon of power over time (she's 53, and still looks great, too), containing both a playful exuberance and sophisticated subtlety that stands up well next to her idols like Lulu, Jackie DeShannon, and Petula Clark." -- Examiner.com (Jammin Java; Vienna, Virginia; October 31, 2012) "Hoffs touched on all bases of her career including some of her big Bangles hits in 'Manic Monday' and 'Eternal Flame,' both performed in a stripped-down but recognizable format. 'Walk Like An Egyptian' was intertwined with more recent song 'Under A Cloud,' from The Bangles' 2011 release Sweetheart of the Sun. The song that really went over well was 'If She Knew What She Wants,' a song Hoffs stated was just worked up that day following a brief run through at the prior show. Recently releasing the acclaimed Someday and her renewed vigor to play some solo shows appears to have rejuvenated Hoffs and it was very evident in her performance." -- Rock Show Critique (TCAN; Natick, Massachusetts; November 2, 2012) "Hoffs and Brassell created an almost unplugged vibe. The approach gave the slick material from the Mitchell Froom-produced album a compelling edge... The singer/guitarist’s self-depreciating humor and flirtatious manner kept the election night crowd on her side through the occasional restart and mishap... Otherwise, Hoffs was in fine voice as she performed songs from the new release, a fair amount of Bangles hits, and an eclectic selection of cover tunes." -- Illinois Entertainer (City Winery; Chicago, Illinois; November 6, 2012) "In town to promote Someday, it seemed only appropriate that various songs from the release found a place here. ... Sweet mid-tempo hits like 'Picture Me,' 'One Day,' and the stunning up-tempo gem 'Raining' also found home throughout the evening. Showing her humorous and laid-back side, Hoffs frequently made small talk with the crowd and welcomed questions from the audience between songs... The Bangles’ 'Eternal Flame' stole the spotlight in the center of the set. Stripped back and guided by the gentle guitar strumming of band mate and Someday co-composer Andrew Brassell, her right-hand man whom she described as being a “punk boy in a tie,” the number has clearly stood the test of time as the singer performed it with heart and soul." -- Uptown News (Anthology; San Diego, California; November 13, 2012) "The night steadily built steam until set highlight, 'In Your Room' brought the house down. This cute and adorable, but inessential, Bangles single morphed into a full throttle rocker, with Brassell throwing in riffs from 'Jumping Jack Flash' while Susanna shredded her Rickenbacker. 'Hero Takes a Fall' also turned into a classic rock riff-heavy jam session. During this entire portion of the set, she beamed ear-to-ear like a teenage rocker playing her first gig. As much as I love Vicki and Debbi Peterson and (forever a Bangle) Michael Steele, I would kill to have Susanna’s tour band record a hard rock Bangles tribute CD." -- PopDose (The Triple Door; Seattle, Washington; November 18, 2012) More Reviews Yahoo! Music Canada Allure of Sound Blurt My So-Called Soundtrack The Agit Reader The Music Junkyard Surviving the Golden Age The Common Ills Everything Express KO Video Under the Covers, Vol. 3 Reviews and Interviews UTCV3Cover300dpi"Even when there aren’t direct lines of inspiration, Hoffs and Sweet do right by their source material. Their cover of 'Girls Talk' (already sort of a cover, as most people know the Dave Edmunds version rather than the Elvis Costello original) navigates the intricate wordplay and rockabilly beat. And Hoffs’s plaintive reading of Kirsty MacColl’s 'They Don’t Know' (also re-covered—the original came out in 1979, but it was made famous again by Tracey Ullman in 1983) is not only the strongest performance here but one of the strongest in the entire series." -- The New Yorker "The power-pop master and the former Bangle expertly curate a set of tunes that suit their airy harmonies and shared affinity for jangly, Paisley-kissed pop, creating a dreamy throughline running from R.E.M.’s 'Sitting Still' through to Lindsey Buckingham’s 'Trouble.' The whole set is a treat but highlights include the duo — operating under their mod moniker 'Sid n Susie' — skipping through the ultra-catchy Elvis Costello via Dave Edmunds gem 'Girls Talk' and the sultry murmurs of Roxy Music’s 'More Than This.'" -- Boston Globe “These covers, like the ones on the other two collections, tend to take few risks. But what we are left with is two ace musicians working both as interpreters and as fans. The liner notes indicate their feelings about the songs they chose and partly why they were picked. Under the Covers, Vol. 3 should please fans of the first two collections. Here’s hoping Sid n Susie continue onward and in a couple years we get to hear what they choose out of the nineties. These collections should keep going!” -- ABC News "Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs’ third joint offering follows the blueprint established from the previous two; smartly picked, coolly performed covers of slightly under the radar material sung to arrangements nearly identical to the originals. They shift their attention to the '80s (the previous sets focused on the '60s and '70s) and gather 14 terrific tunes to revive, all but two (the dBs and the Bongos) familiar to fans of college/alternative radio of that decade." -- American Songwriter "...these artists, both of whose careers were made possible by the sounds, spirit, and community of’80s indie-rock, surprise more often and seem more passionate when shining a light on their (sometimes unexpected) heroes from that under-heralded time, including the Bongos, the dB’s, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Smiths, the English Beat, and R.E.M. circa Murmur. It’s like retro college-radio karaoke—and that’s intended as a compliment." -- WBEZ Chicago's Rimshots “It’s an indication that these two aren’t simply interpreters, but also fans and admirers of the material they’re tapping into. Mainly though, it’s evidence of great taste, given their admirable choice of tunes As a result, these 14 songs sound as wholly irresistible now as they did when they were such an essential part of a soundtrack for a now-distant decade.” -- Blurt "...where their album of ’60s covers was just about perfect and the one they did on the ’70s fell comparatively flat, this one finds them back in stride. And, no offense to Sid, but it’s Susie’s radiant singing that wins the day here. To hear Hoffs nail ‘Girls Talk,’ Kirsty MacColl’s ‘They Don’t Know,’ The Pretenders’ ‘Kid,’ and Lindsey Buckingham’s ‘Trouble,’ I get hit with the same, goosebumpy sensation that came over me when she claimed ownership of ‘Different Drum’ on Vol 1. Susanna’s still alive." -- Shindig Magazine "Trading lead vocals and combining their voices with harmonies that would make Crosby, Stills & Nash proud Sweet and Hoffs have once again succeeded in making a thoroughly enjoyable album of cover tunes that is sure to please anyone who grew up in the 80's and beyond." -- Pop Culture Beast "The performances feel genuine because, let’s face it, these two lived it! Sweet rose to prominence in the late ’80s/early ’90s as a solo artist and Hoffs fronted the Bangles, one of the biggest bands of the decade they are honoring. As a nostalgia vehicle it is brilliant. But it would be nice to hear Sweet and Hoffs back on the charts with original material!" -- Music Connection "There is one difference in Volume 3‘s covers that doesn’t – can’t – happen in the originals, and that’s when Hoffs takes lead vocals in places where the original vocals were sung by men. 'Girls Talk' and 'More Than This' can’t help but have a different feel when it’s Hoffs delivering lines fired by jealousy and yearning, and it’s no coincidence that they mark the album’s highest points." -- CoverMeSongs.com "...as improbable as it seems, Hoffs claims Dave Edmunds’ ‘Girls Talk’ for herself. Kirsty MacCall’s 'They Don’t Know' sounds like a long-lost Bangles hit, while the Bongos’ 'Bullrushes' would have fit nicely on Sweet’s 100% Fun. ... The Go-Go’s track, in its way, may be the most difficult one to pull off of them all — what with Hoffs’ group having worked concurrently in the MTV era. But Sweet and Hoffs take it at a slightly more considered pace, imbuing the song with a sultry new vigor." -- Something Else Reviews "Because we're both fans of the music, it was so easy to pick songs. The hard part was actually trying to stop [laughs]. Musically it was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun finding ways to reinvent the songs and put our own stamp on them. We also got to think outside of the box because we approached things as a duet. It gave us a chance to really get into the emotion of the songs." -- Guitar World “The '60s and '70s were essentially the golden age of music and so musicians in the '80s were in an unenviable position of trying to follow up two whole decades of amazing music having been made,” Hoffs begins. “I feel the decade definitely gets a bad rap. What I think is cool about the '80s is that a lot of music from the time was re-energized from the punk scene of the late '70s.” -- Huffington Post Canada "Hoffs: We were like two kids in a candy store. We found our anchors in bands like R.E.M. but then also looked towards other guitar-driven bands and acts from the second wave of British new wave acts like XTC and Roxy Music. The English Beat were important for me personally as The Bangles did one of our first tours with them." -- MusicNerd