Hazel O’Connor – Sons and Lovers (SFE / Cherry Red)

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Expanded version of O’Conners post ‘Breaking Glass’ album featuring extensive liner notes by O’Conner herself plus the lyrics and 5 bonus tracks (including a live cover of Bowie’s ‘Sufragette City’ (featuring Simon Le Bon no less). Opening track ‘D-Days’ brought back some happy memories of listening to this album with my sister back in the early 80s – both of us being converts after watching the film ‘Breaking Glass’ and the driving, almost martial, electronic-pop rhythm of this song still hits home, with O’Connor’s unique vocal style dominating the track particularly on the infectious chorus. Elsewhere she explores issues of sexuality, love and loneliness with Wesley McGoogan’s sax and Andy Quinta’s keyboards perfectly emphasising the haunting lyrical content of songs such as ‘Do What You Do’ and ‘Time (Ain’t on our side)’.  In some respects ‘Sons and Lovers’ follows on from the more introspective songs from ‘Breaking Glass’ which is unsurprising given that some of these songs were written around the same time as the soundtrack. Perfect 80s pop – if you had this on vinyl it’s worth updating; and if you’re too young to remember Hazel O’Connor but enjoy a bit of 80s nostalgia – then this is right up your street. Ian Pickens

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