© 2001 GoldrushSoundbytes
2 years on from her debut at the tender age of 13 with the previously reviewed "Myron Angel," this second album from Susan Hedges is a double, with CD1, "Crimson Love," containing all original material, while CD2, "Velvet Black," sees Susan paying tribute to some of her songwriting hero's who have influenced her music over the years.
On CD1, Susan once again teams up with her regular writing partner Paula Wright(nee Stafford on previous album) and Gary Hall for a collection of 12 songs, ranging from the opening slow dittie, "Stillness Of An Angel," through a song Susan wrote about her own life and her fight to overcome the problems of being born blind in "The Fighting Kind," to the wonderfully produced, 6' 24" closer, "Candlelight" a song with a strong Mexican feel, about resisting the temptation to stray in love. My favourite pick from this album is a track that was recently released on the "Hotdisc" media sampler CD, "Jerusalem Syndrome." This is a wonderful, tongue in cheek song, co-penned with Gary Hall, that Susan says she got the idea for after listening to a radio programme about how 2% of people change when they visit Jerusalem, believing and behaving like they are biblical characters. The thought of people walking around like Prophet's appealed to Susan's sense of humour and she says she just had to write a song about it. I love the line......"That bunch of swines the philistines have just moved in next door"........which she then follows up with a line borrowed from Tom Jones..........."Forgive me Delilah I just couldn't take anymore"........Brilliant!!!!!
CD2 opens with a song from the pen of the legendary, Townes Van Zandt. At just 1' 32" long, the bouncy, "Brother Flower" is a catchy little tune that I haven't heard before, while, "Love Storm" from the pen of Lee Clayton, is a previously unreleased song, with heavy overdriven guitar licks, that is just a little too heavy for me, but will suit lovers of the harder edge of country music. Other writers providing previously unreleased songs for the album are, Gary Hall with the slow heartbreaker, "I Can't Believe He's Gone," David Olney with the chirpy(sorry!) "I'm Glad I'm Not A Bird" and Eric Taylor with the acoustic, "Mexican Prayer." If you like to dance, then "Come On Up To The House" is a good, Fats Dominoe style rocker, penned by Tom Waits, that is sure to get the feet moving while Richard Dobson's "Useful Girl," is probably my favourite track on this CD. The CD closes with "New Morning" a gospel track from the pen of Nick Cave.
Both CD's once again see Cathryn Craig, Gary Hall and Des Horsefall on backing vocals, with Gary Hall also producing the album. This is another fine effort from Susan and one that leave's me pondering the thought, if she can write this good at just 15 years old, what will she be capable of in another 10 or so years time, when she has experienced more of what life has yet to show her!