Album review: SUZI QUATRO – The Devil In Me

SUZI QUATRO - The Devil In Me

SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 26.03.21]

Suzi Quatro is back with her new album ‘The Devil In Me’, which like 2019’s ‘No Control’ album is a joint effort between her and son Richard Tuckey.

As Suzi Quatro explained “Starting spring 2020, almost one hundred of my shows were cancelled and Richard would also have been on tour with his band had not all concerts been cancelled or postponed. So I said to him: ‘We should make the most of our free time, write new material and allow ourselves to be inspired by the things that are currently going on in the world.’ …everybody who’s heard The Devil In Me and all the people who had worked on the previous album have told us: ‘This album is even stronger!’”

As my fellow scribe Nikk Gunns noted when reviewing ‘No Control’, Suzi Quatro covers plenty of musical ground, be it the straight ahead hard rock, sing-a-long chorus of ‘Hey Queenie’ or the blues rocker ‘I Sold My Soul’, which is driven along by some very tasty Hammond.

The title track has been released as the lead single from the album and with its chugging guitar riffs & piano makes for a perfect Quatro rocker. Cherie Currie guests on ‘Betty Who?’ a song that has a 70s feel and a superb chorus. Don’t be surprised if this is the next single released off the album.

Her 2020 Christmas single ‘Heart and Soul’ is on here too, in a long version. It does stick out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the album, not only due to its seasonal nature, but also as it has an easy listening vibe – soft trumpet, soothing vocals and even a few sleigh bells. Worthy of its place on the album though as it shows what a versatile performer she is.

Her son Richard certainly gets the best out of her singing and playing, as indeed he does with the talented musicians on the album. ‘I Sold My Soul Today’ being a case in point, having a rocking vocal, more of that great Hammond playing and a real ‘wham bam, thank you mam’ song at just over two and half minutes long.

At the other end of the pace scale, ‘Love’s Gone Bad’ is a late night ballad, with a jazz tinged vocal and subtle percussion and sax, wonderful stuff. That sax makes its mark too on ‘In The Dark’, another slower number and a perfect musical come down after the rockier songs earlier in the album’s running order.

‘Motor City Riders’ sees the album finish in style. A party rocker that you could imagine Alice Cooper and Dee Snider wanting to join in with!

One of the few positives from the pandemic has been that many artists have hunkered down in their studios and come out with some of their finest work in ages – Alice Cooper (who namechecks Suzie Q on his album), Thunder, Maximo Park and Foo Fighters to name but a few. Now we can add Suzi Quatro to that list. It is as good as ‘No Control’ and could well be, by the time the annual best of lists come out, that ‘The Devil In Me’ is considered even better. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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