Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sweet Danger - Suzy Bogguss

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Suzy Bogguss hasn't had a quantifiable Country hit this century but this might actually have been a good thing as far as this listener is concerned. No longer recording to have "hits" has freed up Bogguss to really show her musical chops. This is proved again with Sweet Danger, an album you could just as much call jazz as you could country.

The cynical amongst us could label the "change" of sound a calculated gamble given the fact that A) Bogguss wasn't selling many records as a Country artist and B) the likes of Norah Jones have made this kind of coffee table lounge sound very "of the moment". But that would be to do Bogguss a dis-service.

The clear reference point for me in many ways was Suzanne Vega; whilst never threatening to come anywhere near to the excellence that Vega has made her trademark it has the gentle but vital heart-beat that makes her records such as absorbing treat.

No Good Way To Go is a case in point, and is perhaps the closest thing to a "rap" song you'll find a 50 year old Country artist doing, but it's not the only highlight.
Her cover of Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” is a pleasant surprise and In Heaven, the closest thing to traditional country you'll find shows that whatever Nashville may say to the contrary, there is a place for "old country" in the modern marketplace.

Of course it's difficult to see this appealing to Bogguss' long standing country fans, although for the most part it's them who are missing out. Bogguss has the voice to carry this "new direction" off very well and this is well worth a listen.

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