Sue Hedges, Strong. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Sue Hedges has never been known for hiding in the corner, confidence, preparation and a voice that knows how to box the ears of those whose ignorance betrays them. Strong is as strong does, it is alright to appear so but you must have the compassion that goes along with it and as the listener takes in Ms. Hedges’ new album, one thought makes itself known, that this could be regarded as the next peak to be scaled and one brilliantly traversed.

The song I Miss You My Way is a glorious affair, a song that could easily be seen working in the hands of legends such as Carly Simon and Barbra Streisand, one that would be applauded with great cheers as the curtain came down on a first act in shows such as Tell Me On A Sunday or A Star Is Born. The song though is most assuredly all Sue Hedges, the timbre in her voice is passionate and wonderful sentimental, despite in time honoured tradition carrying what could be considered an edge of the cruel or pity-less approach which works so well in the deft hands of Ms. Hedges.

The album from start to finish is one that the die-hard fan and the relative newcomer to Ms. Hedges’ prestigious output can delve into with the knowledge that it is, perhaps as the album title suggests, her strongest album to date, catchy, feminine, full of beat, scorn and promise in one all consuming package. The beat is relentless, the lyrics full of guile, merciless but with love strewn throughout and considerate to the cause, gentle but as muscular as a visit from the collected winners of the World’s Strongest Women as they knock on the door of preconception and release the tension hanging in the air.

Aside from I Miss You My Way, songs such as I Love Your Crazy Walk, When I’m In Your Mind, I Am A Stranger, It’s Wrecking My Head and Two Nearly Touching Hearts are enough to send the mind into a musical heaven, one that requires no further action apart from revelling in the upbeat sound and the love and cynicism in her well placed lyrics.

Strong is a giant of a word that typifies Ms. Hedges down to the ground. It is a note that frames the musician with a smile and in this new album, one that confirms just how important she is to the music in Liverpool.

Ian D. Hall