Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Susan Cowsill Lighthouse 2010

I'll go out on a limb here. This is Susan Cowsill's great record. It really is, it's fantastic.

You might not know Susan Cowsill, but she is the same girl as the eight-year-old that debuted with The Cowsills, and she is also the raging female voice of The Continental Drifters, an extremely underrated band from the nineties.

She has a voice that is too abrasive for some, but she really feels it. It's almost like Joan Jett had a range and sang Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen songs. If that sounds all wrong to you, you're not alone.

But you should hear this. And you should purchase this music. She deserves it (they all do). Dragon Ayre, Avenue Of The Indians, Sweet Bitter End, You And Me Baby, these are Cowsill's most intimate and fully realized songs. River Of Love is late brother's Barry's swan song, done with deference and elegance.

Lighthouse continues the searching themes of the CD, and the rest of the songs stand up. A cover of Galveston is at least OK, and Real Life is Susan pouring it out.

As a folk-rock artist, she is a little too abrasive. As a rocker, she's a little too vulnerable. My advice is Get Over It. Here is an artist with plenty to say, a fine voice to say it with, and a willingness to share that is welcome. She deserves an audience, and she has the talent as both a songwriter and a singer.

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