One of the best things about the music industry is that every once in a while an artist emerges from virtually nowhere to command your attention—so it is with Susan Angeletti.
She may not be well known, but she has one of those booming and powerful voices that is memorable and stays with you. Her vocal style is a fusion of blues and hard rock. When she travels in a hard rock direction, she sounds a bit like Grace Slick, although without some of the polish. She has shared the stage with the likes of B.B. King, George Thorogood, Dickey Betts, and Wilson Pickett.
She has gathered a fine band to support her vocals. Lead guitarist Bruce Korona, drummer Paul Dawicki, bassist Paul Dabrowski, and keyboardist Ted Wert are a tight outfit who can crank up the decibels, but at the same time are skilled enough to not drown out her vocals.
She wrote or co-wrote six of the seven tracks on her new album titled Wisdom. Her co-writer on four of the tunes was guitarist Korona. The songs are well written with the lyrics and music fitting together well. They have an underlying melodic quality that allows both the musicians and vocalist to share the spotlight.
The first two tracks establish the sound and style of the album. “Rock Me Right” is a rock/blues piece. The instrumental backing is hard rock, while her vocal explores the blues. Korona proves to be an excellent guitarist as he is able to produce creative guitar solos, and here it is his guitar lines that drive the song along. “Hypnotized” is another bone crunching song that is hard rock at its best. Conversely, “Eye To Eye” is a slower tune, which allows her to demonstrate her vocal range, power, and clarity.
The album’s best song is the title track. “Wisdom” can best be described as a power blues ballad. It contains an all-out vocal with her voice straining to its limits in a good way. The guitar solo in the middle is one of those that will bring you out of your seat in appreciation.
The other tracks are more of the same as they tread the line between rock and blues. “Myrtle Beach,” “Knock On My Door,” and “Got To Have You Baby” are all well-structured, expertly played and energetically sung.
My only real criticism with the album is the packaging. She should have added some autobiographical material, as she is not widely known. In the grand scheme of things, that is minor as it all comes down to the music and in that regard, there are no real problems.
Susan Angeletti is one of those artists who produces good music and performs live as much as possible, but struggles to become well-known and achieve commercial viability. Hopefully Wisdom will be her breakout release as it cements her status as having one of the best voices you may have never heard.
Article first published as Music Review: Susan Angeletti – Wisdom on Blogcritics.