28 September 2019

Rock Review: Suzi Quatro-No Control

Release Date: March 29th, 2019
Label: Steamhammer

Pioneer of the rock n’ roll woman, Suzi Quatro, shows she has no problem diversifying her sound to the present musical climate, almost 50 years after she first broke onto the scene. Her newest album, No Control, is energetic and defiant, boasting thoughtful, inspirational lyrics backed by sublime and rounded instrumentation. The production throughout is so full, with each instrument given space and time to shine, that listening sounds like attending a pristine live set. This release serves as a statement from the 69-year-old; I’m still here and I’ve still got it. 

Over 11 songs, Quatro jumps between hard rock, blues, and country styles. The first track, “No Soul / No Control” is the perfect entrance to the project, throwing the listener straight into the action. Powerful lyrics like “you can’t break me, cause I’m in control” flow over a heavy rock guitar rhythm, reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age’s work on Villains. “Strings” is a masterful, melodic, and funky rock ballad made up of profound lyrics, powerful big brass trumpets, and a blissful, ascending piano.

Upon first listen, “Love isn’t fair” seems like a strange interlude. Sandwiched between two electrifying rock songs, the trumpets and jaunty calypso steel drums create an island, beach-holiday vibe. However, pay attention to its melancholic, country-style lyrics about lost love and this song will grow on you quick. It’s this contradiction which adds to the charm of the song and makes it one of the more enjoyable songs of the collection

On the track “Macho Man” Quatro’s squealing vocals pair terrifically with a thumping guitar beat and manic drumming to create another album highlight, bursting at the seams with energy. “Easy Pickings” lulls the listener gently in, starting slow with soft drum brushes and a warbling harmonica, which then blends seamlessly into a bombastic, crashing masterpiece of heavy rock on the bridge. A tantalizing piano solo near the end of this track serves as the cherry on top for this gorgeously arranged tour de force. 

Throughout the album one is hard-pressed to find anywhere Quatro and co. put a foot wrong, ducking and diving between styles and genres, on one track rocking out, on another providing a feel-good, inspirational bounce. One missed swing could be “Bass Line” however, which is a lackluster track, saved only by Quatro’s quavering bass solo towards the end.

Key Tracks Include: “No Soul / No Control”, “Strings”, “Macho Man” and “Easy Pickings.”

Nicholas Lane-MuzikMan.net Contributor

September 25, 2019

Tracks:
01. No Soul / No Control
02. Going Home
03. Strings
04. Love Isn’t Fair
05. Macho Man
06. Easy Pickings
07. Bass Line
08. Don’t Do Me Wrong
09. Heavy Duty
10. I Can Teach You to Fly
11. Going Down Blues
 

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