The new album Sweetheart of the Sun by the Bangles is out in stores today. The new release is the follow-up to their 2003 Doll Revolution album. But for some, Sweetheart of the Sunmay feel like a follow-up to Matthew Sweet’s collaboration with Susanna Hoffs (Under the Covers Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) especially since Sweet co-produced & engineered the record and all. The loose, retro vibe carried over from the Under the Covers sessions is a natural fit for a band like the Bangles since they’ve always been heavily influenced by 60′s rock.
Hoffs, Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson have never sounded more relaxed and comfortable than they do here. Maybe without the pressures of a major label, the band is finally free to create music for themselves and not for high-volume sales. Introspective lyrics, jangly guitars and sweet three-part harmonies, all make for a lovely listen. The girls hook you in with the tuneful opening chords of “Anna Lee” and won’t let you go until 40 minutes later with the lingering notes at the end of their Todd Rundgren cover, “Open My Eyes”.
It’s great to see this group back together again after the long hiatus but I do have to admit that I miss the presence of original bassist Michael Steele. but it is what it is. And you may not be aware of this but this year marks the 30th anniversary of the band! holy cow!