Susan Cowsill: Lighthouse

[1 August 2010]

By Steve Horowitz

Susan Cowsill sings in a raspy voice that sounds weathered by experience, but with a touch of honeyed sweetness. She lets the long lines wrap around the instrumentation as the emotional ache becomes more important than the actual words Cowsill croons. The words of love for people past and present, the city of New Orleans, and the crazed world in which we find ourselves become a psalm of hope and joy as the disc progresses. Yeah, life sucks, but it beats the alternative—let’s sing. There are worse anthems. While Cowsill gets wobbly on her acoustic take of Jimmy Webb’s “Galveston”, she does justice to the self-penned songs and lesser known tunes. Her voice may not be pretty by conventional standards, and it can be a little too earnest, but Cowsill’s music has a distinctive charm. And yes, she was part of that family band from the ‘60s, but no, she does not look like Susan Dey.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/126822-susan-cowsill-lighthouse/