Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HAZEL O'CONNOR: The Chancellor reviews SONS AND LOVERS: The Expanded Edition


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While it seemed like she was an overnight sensation in 1980, British performer Hazel O’Connor certainly took the long way around before landing in the spotlight. According to Hazel herself, she had run away from home at 16, which lead to making and selling clothes in Amsterdam, picking grapes in France, joining a dance troupe that traveled to Tokyo and Beirut, traveling to West Africa and the Sahara before coming home and trying to settle into normalcy. Her love of singing and acting quickly led to the lead role in the now-cult classic movie BREAKING GLASS. In that breakout role, she also penned the material that she performed in the film and on the soundtrack. 

However, no matter how much attention she received for that debut screen performance, fame was not going to mess with her gypsy spirit. With a hit movie and a best-selling album and charting singles, Hazel was in a position where she could choose the right career path that would be more creatively fulfilling... but would she choose acting or music?

SONS AND LOVERS was her answer.

Hazel wisely followed the same musical path she had started with BREAKING GLASS. With music influenced – directly or indirectly – by David Bowie, vaudeville, ‘60s Pop and Rock and glam, SONS AND LOVERS expands on the sound of BREAKING GLASS with more focused results. Though Nigel Gray’s production may date these recordings, it is still a fun and frenetic stroll through glammy Pop with Punk’s frenetic energy.  It doesn’t hurt that she has a supergroup backing her up: brother Neil O’Connor (The Flys) on guitar, saxophonist Wesley Magoogan (The English Beat), drummer Ed Case (999), keyboardist Andy Qunta (Icehouse) and bass work from Wild Oscar and Gary Tibbs (Roxy Music/Adam & The Ants/The Vibrators). The album is a nice balance of Pop hooks, Post-Punk cool and Punk energy. Highlights include “D-Days,” “Time (Ain’t On Our Side),” “Who Will Care?” and the title track.  A completely solid follow-up that deserves just as much love as the BREAKING GLASS soundtrack. The fact that this CD includes five bonus tracks makes it essential for Hazel hounds!

Note: The album's cover art was by Edward Bell, who also did David Bowie’s SCARY MONSTERS… album cover!

Keep on truckin',

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