Friday, February 17, 2012

On my turntable: The Bangles - Sweetheart of the Sun

Since a pretty young age I have felt a need to document my life through mediums such as photos, journaling, blogging, and especially music. For a few years the advent of digital music dampened my joy of collecting music. Sure, mp3s can provide an instant rush of gratification from hearing a new song for the first time, but often that excitement only lasts until the next mp3 comes along. Looking back over the past 20 years the documentation of my life seems somehow marred by a period when I was buying new music on CD rather than vinyl.

Inner sleeve
It probably goes without saying that when Sweetheart of the Sun was first released last September in digital-only formats I felt sadly torn. The more I heard Sweetheart the more I knew it was one of those rare, special albums that captures you upon first listen and seeps deeper into your consciousness with repeated plays.  How could this not be released on vinyl, I wondered.  Luckily the powers that be in Bangelonia saw the light, and this masterwork (the Bangles' best, in my opinion) is now available on wax.

Right now the LP is only available as part of a "Super Fan Pack" through The Bangles' website, but according to Amazon.com there is a release date of 3/6/11 for the vinyl for those who don't want the fancy extras that come with the "fan pack". In my opinion, Sweetheart of the Sun is not only the best Bangles record; I believe it's one of the best albums of the past decade.

The Bangles: S. Hoffs, D. Peterson, V. Peterson
The Bangles have always worn their love of the 1960s proudly on their sleeves, but on this new album the influence of the 60's seems more authentic and profoundly sincere than on past releases. The result is a cohesive, folksy, jangly, and sunshine-harmony drenched gem of a record. Personally I feel pretty confident that Sweetheart of the Sun will secure a spot in my top 10 of all-time, alongside other classics such as Pet Sounds, Rubber Soul, and The Monkees' Pisces... album.  Of course I say this with the understanding that I may just be in a 'honeymoon phase' with the album, but my gut tells me that this is a love affair that will last a lifetime.

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