Susanna Hoffs

REVIEW: Susanna Hoffs “The Deep End”


Susanna Hoffs – The Deep End (Baroque Folk)

The Bangles co-founder Susanna Hoffs is no stranger to a cover song. Across three separate albums teamed with Matthew Sweet, the duo gave their takes on dozens of artists from Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys to XTC and Echo And The Bunnymen. So, it’s not strange that Hoffs latest solo effort is again all versions of other people’s songs. What is interesting though is the variety of songs she tackles on The Deep End.

There are the more obvious selections, like her take on Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” and The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” all peasant enough, if pretty predictable choices, but where Hoffs really impresses is on her versions of less obvious numbers like Billie Eillish’s “When The Party’s Over,” Squeeze’s “Black Coffee In Bed,” (easily one of the best tracks on the record) and the surprise album closer Yazoo’s “Only You,” a beautiful stripped down version that perfectly showcases Hoff’s vocals.

She also turns in covers of songs by Ed Sheeran, Brandy Clark, and another solid out of left field band Phantom Planet, among others. Across 13 tracks, Hoffs delivers a mostly impressive trek into her own personal play list on shuffle. Overall, the riskier and ultimately more satisfying tracks here make up for the more predictable moments on the record.

The Deep End is timed to come out the same week as her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown. Hoffs describes the book as “the redemption of a one-hit-wonder. It’s a story of sex, love, and rock and roll.” The book has already been acquired by Universal Pictures.

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