Suzi Quatro – “No Control”

Label: Steamhammer

Rating: 8/10

Review: Dawn Osborne

Fifty years in the biz and Suzi Q is still out there shaking her tail in fine fettle. This is the new album written and recorded with her son from her first marriage, Richard Tuckey. Written outside in the summer with an acoustic guitar and bass, it’s a full electric album (although the vinyl version contains two acoustic bonus tracks, the deeply personal ‘Heart on the Line’ when Suzi cried during the recording and kept it for authenticity and a great cover of Dylan’s ‘Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat’.)

The album draws from Suzi’s heritage, but is still full of delightful surprises. First single ‘No Soul, No Control’ embodies everything Suzi stands for; independence, strength and individuality. Never one to shirk the hard things that need saying ‘Going Home’ is a brutally honest look at a relationship with a choo choo train like rhythm that’ll get all your bits moving. ‘Strings’ is a true original with it’s unforgettable echomimetic chorus that sounds exactly like a heavenly harp.

It’s simply amazing that after five decades Suzi can still come up with something that just doesn’t not sound like anything else I have ever heard and seems divinely inspired. ‘Love Isn’t Fair’ is a light hearted song with a Hawaiian feel and is on the same side of the fence feel-wise as Suzi’s huge hit ‘Stumblin In’. It is also full of the wise comments we have come to expect from Suzi who always gets to the heart of any matter with a mind like a razor. ‘Macho Man’ was justifiably described by Suzi as an out and out headbanger and, as a huge glam rock fan, I love to see this side of her music also represented on the album. “I Can Teach You To Fly’ also has its roots firmly in the 70’s, although it’s more like the poppy chart stuff from that era. ‘Easy Pickins’, ‘Don’t Do Me Wrong’ are bluesy with some great honky tonk piano while the don’t miss close,r ‘Goin Down Blues’ is a song that may get you and your friends synchronised high kickin and singin in faces at parties. ‘Bass Line’ reminded me of tracks from the “9 ½ Weeks” film soundtrack and could easily be picked up for a movie in a similar way.

Suzi was a pioneer when rock was mainstream and so she rightfully sees herself not just as a rock musician, but as a provider of mainstream entertainment. As such this is a diverse album which looks to appeal to a wider crowd than simply a rock audience. But Suzi will always be a rock n roll fox and, with her never to be lost growl, the bloodline is pure.

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