Album Review: Suzi Quatro – “No Control”
Well it’s not often we get sent stuff by glam rock royalty round here, but evidently someone thought enough of Pure Rawk to send us the new Suzi Quatro album. Now I have to be honest, my knowledge of Suzi Q pretty much consists of her 70s hits and very little else but let’s face it, 48 Crash and Devil Gate Drive are two bubblegum-glam classics of the highest order, and anyone who says otherwise… well, they’re just wrong ain’t they? So forty plus years later, how are things holding up for her?
First things first, No Control is a very poppy album and I’m aware that might put a few people off here. The truth is though, Suzi was always aesthetically closer to the pure pop of Blondie than the snotty attitude of the Runaways or X-Ray Spex, and once you can clear that particular hurdle in your mind, it’s a good album for what it is as evidenced by the mid-tempo title track and the strutting Going Home, which open the album. There’s a bit of variety as well with Suzi turning her hands to everything from funk-soul (Strings) through smoky jazz rock (Bassline) and harmonica honking blues (Easy Pickins, I Can Teach You To Fly), to a full-on samba complete with mariachi trumpets (Love Isn’t Fair).
It’s maybe telling though that she’s still at her best when she chooses to rock out – the loping ZZ Top style riff on lead off single Macho Man is probably the strongest thing here, with the sultry snarl of closer Going Down Blues running it close.
Is it gonna change anyone’s world? Probably not. But it’ll certainly keep those who like her music happy and sometimes that’s all you want from an album like this. Not bad when all’s said and done.
More an album for those who like what they know, at least "No Control" is good for what it is, ie, a Suzi Quatro album in 2019. She sounds strongest here when she sticks to what she knows, and it may be a bit too poppy for some people's tastes, but that was always part of her charm. As we say up north, it's alright for them what likes a bit of fun.