Album Review: honeyhoney – ‘Billy Jack’
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Record Label: Lost Highway Records
Los Angeles-based duo honeyhoney, Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe, are set to release their new album, Billy Jack on October 24 through honeyhoney Records/Lost Highway. This album is a great showcase for how Santo and Jaffe have progressed together as both musicians and writers.
On Billy Jack, honeyhoney focused their efforts in a bit of a different direction than their prevous effort, First Rodeo. The album opens with the old-time country-western tinged “Angel Of Death.” That traditional country sound provides the undercurrent for the rest of the album flow.
Strong country influenced songs also include “I Don’t Mind”, a romping foot-stomper, and “Old School Friends” with its great writing and harmonies. I’m always amazed bands are able to spin old-school style with a modern twist to make something that sounds fresh and current.
While certainly having stronger country ties than their previous album, there still remains a great variety of sounds ranging from rootsy ballads, like “Don’t Know How,” to rock and blues influenced pieces like the albums closer “Thin Line.”
Two things are immediately clear on Billy Jack. First is how much Suzanne Santo has grown as a vocalist. She already had great tone, and now the emotion she infuses into her vocals really creates some compelling phrasing. Her voice at times sounds like fiery cross between Norah Jones, Serena Ryder and Susan Tedeschi. Second is how well Santo and Jaffe have become writing and performing partners. You can hear their character shine in the music, and that makes it all the more sweet to hear.
- Angel Of Death
- Glad I’ve Done What I Did
- Don’t Know How (Slow Mover)
- Turn That Finger Around
- I Don’t Mind
- Old School Friends
- Let’s Get Wrecked
- LA River
- All On You
- Thin Line