[ALBUM REVIEW] Suzi Quatro – No Control

No Control Tracklist:

1. No Soul/No Control
2. Going Home
3. Strings
4. Love Isn’t Fair
5. Macho Man
6. Easy Pickings
7. Bass Line
8. Don’t Do Me Wrong
9. Heavy Duty
10. I Can Teach You To Fly
11. Going Down Blues

 Reviewed by Casper

Suzi Quatro remains a staple for so many rock fans spanning far and wide so it’s of little surprise that news of a new album is the catalyst for celebration the globe over.   If one puts aside for a moment who this is and with a feeble attempt to ignore the hype the most striking element of the new album title No Control is surely that it is a genuinely great album all on its own.  Returning our key protagonists to the fore and releasing the cheers of unbridled glee is when the collection establishes a new dimension of genuine greatness.

It would seem on first listening that Suzi has corralled every element of music she has mastered over the course of more than half a century, combined that with her unique skill and appeal, then collaboration with her son from her first marriage, Richard Tuckey blesses the world with a genuine masterwork of musical magnificence.

No Soul – No Control opens proceedings and Suzi is straight away, right in your face with genuinely tremendous rock n roll, a killer groove, and enough hooks to ensure the listener is going nowhere.  With mouth still agape from the opening track, the second offering Going Home nonchalantly struts into your life and provides a second dose of hooky magic, albeit with a different feel entirely.  This track is bursting with the contemporary appeal but the keys provide vintage flavor to accompany the inherent strut of rhythmic dominance.

Strings is an entirely new flavor again providing an engulfment of excitement with the realisation that this album is going be a journey of discovery and diversity.  The word Strings binds together all elements of the tracks is essentially a very clever composition indeed full of fascinating changes in direction but kept on track with “Strings”.  This one word will stay with you long after the song has finished and become a companion for days to follow as you strut in step to the rhythmic bliss.

Love Isn’t Fair is a statement and song title that I’m certain we can all identify with in one way or another but warm up your Jamaican maracas because this sundrenched and boppy number might well be accompanied by a tall glass of Malibu.  It sure wasn’t what I expected but damn it’s catchier than an outrigger net off Montego Bay.  Now I did comment on the diversity, right?

Macho Man gets you right where Suzi lives in your heart and fans will be instantly in love with this rock thriller delivered in perfect range to suit Suzi’s contemporary appeal and with a slightly malevolent edge to boot.  Riffage throughout and you just try to sit still.  Impossible.  I can’t wait to hear the wonderful Aussie Nat Alison and Pete Wanno with guitars dueling to this thrilling number down under.

Easy Pickings is from waaaaay down south and oozes the blues from beginning to end with guitar plucking brilliance and prominent harmonica.  Aint no mediocrity here lyin’ here y’all.  The piano ‘solo’ is just perfectly placed and the rock rhythm guitar provides a superb dimension.  Just incredible, but so is the vast musical experience and technical expertise of rock n roll’s reigning first lady. 

Bass Line is ostensibly very personal to Suzi and one I can’t wait to speak with her about, primarily to establish the roots of this moody and technically superb number.  But when Don’t Do Me No Wrong begins the albums soars again to a truly unexpected level of brilliance.  This saucy, steamy number will have the audience the world over giving cheeky cheers of approval and the harmonica sections give this such a superb blues edge. The keyboard provides an additional dimension of enjoyment to this track and the melody will reverberate well after the track is at an end.

Heavy Duty, I Can Teach You To Fly and Going Down Blues are thoroughly magnificent tracks in their own right but together are a demonstration of sequencing perfection.  Despite having been guided by Suzi though a diverse landscape of musical magnificence the last three tracks are a splendid reminder that although the subject matter is often somber and sincere, music is all about the fun, celebration, and enjoyment.  If it keeps Suzi so young, happy, healthy and superb, who are we to question?  The truth is that No Control reinforces the well established and undeniable truth that Suzi Quatro is both the archetypical rock chick but also a musical genius.  The overarching principle to this album is that it is thoroughly organic.  There is nothing forced, nothing out of context, sequenced like a live show and brings such enjoyment.  The film clip to No Soul/No Control certainly provides evidence that our queen of rock is going as strong as ever but this album gives the impression that it was created with ease.  Despite the range of styles and subject matter, the endless treasure trove of instrumental finery it appears that perhaps Suzi doesn’t need to try very hard to create brilliance.  After all, this album IS Suzi.  Raw rock brilliance sprinkled with vintage and contemporary appeal, style mastery at every twist and just like her live performances, she wants us to have fun.  Usually age wearies we mere mortals, but not in this case.  This is the result of experience, knowledge, and expertise.  Something this magnificent at this stage of her career?  Wonderous and just like Suzi, a rock masterpiece.  

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