Susanna Hoffs soars on solo 'Someday'

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

You know that gorgeous lead vocal in the Bangles' songs that captured everyone's hearts?

It belongs to Susanna Hoffs and is actually sweeter, more nuanced, and more compelling than ever. Any doubters need only listen to Hoffs' latest solo album "Someday" that takes a sonic journey back to '60s sounds made popular by Simon & Garfunkel and Dusty Springfield.

"I have just been so happy to have this record out. It's really exciting to do something so new and fresh," said Hoffs adding that her concerts are almost a musical potpourri. "People can expect a little bit from all the chapter and phases of my musical career."

Although Hoffs' has tapped into a geyser of critical acclaim for "Someday," she has not turned her back on the Bangles' music or her "Under the Covers" collaborations with Matthew Sweet that takes listeners from the Beatles to the Mamas & the Papas and beyond.

Onstage
Susanna Hoffs
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna
Info: $20; 703-255-1566; jamminjava.com

Hoffs' unabashed love of the songs with which she grew up arguably helps her relate to fans that grew up loving Bangles' tunes including "Walk Like An Egyptian," and "Manic Monday." While other musicians tend to shy away from talking about their past hits, Hoffs' engages in and expands on such conversations.

"I remember the day I first heard that song," she said of "Walk Like an Egyptian." "It's catchy and fun and kind of bizarre in a way. I don't want to use the word quirky, but it's that kind of song in a good way and I'm always happy to perform it."

For all the fondness fans have for those songs, it's important not to miss Hoffs' more recent and just as satisfying music.

Of course, many of the Bangles' songs are such a strong part of contemporary pop that it's sometimes difficult to hear Hoffs' solo songs such as "Holding My Breath" and not immediately compare it to "Watching the Sky" by the Bangles.

Really, though, that's not Hoffs' fault. The songs on "Someday" certainly stand apart from the Bangles' catalog in the best possible way. The comparisons spring to mind because even in her 50s, Hoffs' voice and personality resonate with the youthful optimism she gave the Bangles' songs in the '80s.

And that's something to be celebrated.

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Author:

Nancy Dunham

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner