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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2011
One of the best all girl groups of the 80s and 8 years after their last album The Bangles are back albeit unfortunately without Michael Steele.

I really like this album the sound is a bit countryish in places but I don't have a problem with this and harmonies are very Bangles, the quality of the music is very good. For me it's a very lively album and I find it cheers me up just listening to it(even the sad songs).
I really like What a Life, Open My Eyes (how many others think the opening cords of Open My Eyes sound like The Who's I can't Explain?), Mesmerized and Under A Cloud but there is nothing on here that I would want to skip past.

If you grew up listening to the Bangles this is defiantly a buy and if you vaguely remember them from Walk Like An Egyptian and Eternal Flame it shows, for me, just what talent they have always had, it's a shame they fell apart all those years ago just think of the stuff they could have produced.
One final point although Steele's songs are, for me, somewhat missed it shouldn't detract from this album it's still definitely a buy.
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on 27 September 2011
You couldn't accuse the Bangles of rushing into things. They've been back together for more than 10 years (longer than they were together first time around in the 80s) but have only produced two full length albums in this time. With "Sweetheart of the Sun" the wait has been worthwhile however. Their last album Doll Revolution seemed a bit like a compilation album, a collection of songs which didn't necessarily sit together. Here the tables are turned however, the band have produced an homogenous and beautiful sounding record, each song complimenting the next. Perhaps it's because the Bangles now have only three-quarters as many members as last time around (bassist Michael Steele left in the mid-noughties), but more likely because they aimed for a running theme: the joys and trials of living in their hometown of Los Angeles, a southern California paradise lost.

The Bangles start as they mean to go on with the joyous guitar heavy pop song "Anna Lee", an ode to the women of LA such as Carly Simon and Carole King, taking on semi-mythical status. "We all wanna be", sing the Bangles, "Anna Lee". The Bangles quickly show us the darker side however with the Susanna Hoffs-lead tracks "I'll Never Be Through With You" and "Under a Cloud", which she performs with a slightly disaffected "never mind" tone; it's not all sunshine and roses then. In the twelve songs on this album they continue to explore both sides of the coin, sounding as good as the Bangles ever have, and yet sounding new and fresh as well.

Vicki Peterson's "What A Life" harks right back to their first album, 1984's All Over The Place. This could be a lost song from that album, only with nearly 30 years' worth of wisdom and musicianship layered on top. Vicki Peterson's drummer sister Debbi Peterson gives us some of the performances of her career here, the achingly beautiful "One of Two" and the out-and-out rocker "Ball & Chain" are highlights. "Mesmerised" features perfectly complementing vocals from both sisters.

All three Bangles harmonise together for the 70s rocker "Open My Eyes", ending the album as well as it started.

There's a lot for Bangles fans to love here, and a lot to interest casual listeners as well. Fans of Michael Steele will no doubt miss her presence, but the band have turned in an outstanding album, full of the harmonies and guitars that have always made them a very special band. Highly recommended.
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on 20 March 2012
The one thing you could not accuse The Bangles of is being prolific when it comes to output. Since their reformation in 2000 they have only managed two albums, the quite wonderful and still my fav Bangles album ever, `Doll Revolution' (2003) and now `Sweetheart of the Sun'.

So was it worth the wait? In truth, mostly. In a nutshell, it starts well with the mid-tempo `Anna Lee', rather loses its way in the middle and then picks up again towards the end. So 8/9 of the 12 songs are fine and the rest are a bit under whelming. What the album is sorely missing is the quirky and sombre-voiced contribution from bassist Michael Steele, who has retired from the music biz and does not appear on this album, the first not to feature her. The result is that the remaining three chop up song writing and vocal chores amongst them and each gets a bigger slice of the pie.

Certainly, Susanna, Vicki and Debbi have more compatible writing styles which means that the album as a whole sounds more consistent and the majority of the songs are classic west coast jangly pop at its best, but it does miss the experimental and slightly more edgy contribution that Steele brought to the table. Interestingly, it seems that drummer Debbi Peterson has taken on part of her mantle and produced some of the more interesting songs such as the delightfully poignant `One of Two'. You can always rely on Susanna Hoffs to produce a couple of decent ballads and Vicki Peterson to chip in a couple of solo efforts.

In fact the self-written material is generally good but it's the covers that let the side down. As usual, there are a couple of covers, this time Todd Rungren's `Open My Eyes' (originally recorded by The Nazz in 1968) and Carter-Lewis and the Southerners' `Sweet Tender Romance' (from 1963) are given the Bangles-o-risation treatment, but sadly these are not a patch on past covers like `Hazy Shade of Winter', `Manic Monday' and others.

Musically, the album is dominated by two pervading influences: country rock and the aura of the late sixties. Many of the songs have a countrified feel with pedal steel guitar and folksy harmonies; others have a definite psychedelic lilt with Indian tinged guitar figures and the ghost of Jefferson Airplane and Love hovering over them. The penultimate song on the album, the beautiful `Through Your Eyes' could quite easily have been lifted from the sessions for Crosby Stills and Nash's 1969 debut such are the awesome vocal harmony arrangements.

So whilst not quite as diverse as its predecessor, `Doll Revolution', this album is still a worthwhile addition to the Bangles' catalogue. It shows a determined move away from trying to `modernise' their sound and instead it builds on their strengths of retro guitars and Beach Boy harmonies and reinforces their modern psychedelic take on today's music structures, evoking a late sixties mood which I rather like. In truth it is still growing on me. A keeper.
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on 18 April 2013
You couldn't accuse the Bangles of rushing into things. They've been back together for more than 10 years (longer than they were together first time around in the 80s) but have only produced two full length albums in this time. With "Sweetheart of the Sun" the wait has been worthwhile however. Their last album Doll Revolution seemed a bit like a compilation album, a collection of songs which didn't necessarily sit together. Here the tables are turned however, the band have produced an homogenous and beautiful sounding record, each song complimenting the next. Perhaps it's because the Bangles now have only three-quarters as many members as last time around (bassist Michael Steele left in the mid-noughties), but more likely because they aimed for a running theme: the joys and trials of living in their hometown of Los Angeles, a southern California paradise lost.

The Bangles start as they mean to go on with the joyous guitar heavy pop song "Anna Lee", an ode to the women of LA such as Carly Simon and Carole King, taking on semi-mythical status. "We all wanna be", sing the Bangles, "Anna Lee". The Bangles quickly show us the darker side however with the Susanna Hoffs-lead tracks "I'll Never Be Through With You" and "Under a Cloud", which she performs with a slightly disaffected "never mind" tone; it's not all sunshine and roses then. In the twelve songs on this album they continue to explore both sides of the coin, sounding as good as the Bangles ever have, and yet sounding new and fresh as well.

Vicki Peterson's "What A Life" harks right back to their first album, 1984's All Over The Place. This could be a lost song from that album, only with nearly 30 years' worth of wisdom and musicianship layered on top. Vicki Peterson's drummer sister Debbi Peterson gives us some of the performances of her career here, the achingly beautiful "One of Two" and the out-and-out rocker "Ball & Chain" are highlights. "Mesmerised" features perfectly complementing vocals from both sisters.

All three Bangles harmonise together for the 70s rocker "Open My Eyes", ending the album as well as it started.

There's a lot for Bangles fans to love here, and a lot to interest casual listeners as well. Fans of Michael Steele will no doubt miss her presence, but the band have turned in an outstanding album, full of the harmonies and guitars that have always made them a very special band. Highly recommended.
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on 17 January 2014
Classic Bangles. Beautiful, catchy melodies, reflective lyrics, magical harmonies. Their output over the years has been remarkably consistent. Thinking, feelgood music which never disappoints. Sounds like a real group effort. Just a pity that Micki Steele couldn't join the party. Loved the legs on the cover also! Hope it won't be quite so long before their cut their next album.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 January 2016
You've just got to love the Bangles, bless 'em. They have recorded some great songs, well performed with sincerity but often a knowing little twinkle in the eye which have rightly lasted for decades in our consciousness and a couple of which are still in my mp3 Favourites file on my phone. This album is right in that tradition, and while there's nothing here of the utter pop genius of Walk Like An Egyptian or If He Knew What She Wants, it's a good album of very decent songs, still sung in that distinctive Bangles style and with good, appropriate 21st-Century production.

This isn't a ground-breaking classic, but that's not what the Bangles are about. It's an album which you stick on occasionally and just enjoy (and often smile along to, in my case). Recommended.
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on 5 January 2012
I purchased this cd in November played it once and was quite disappointed. I decided to dig it out last week and give it another go as I had just been listening to Anna lee which I absolutely love and this time round I found there were quite a few good songs that stood out but at least 3 are filler in my opinion. The best songs for me are, I'll never be through with you, under a cloud, mesmerised and What a life. It is true like some other reviews have mentioned it isn't as good as Doll Revolution which had more instantly catchy songs but there are some songs on here that are worth repeated listens. I could have done without lay yourself down, one of two and through your eyes. I do hope they will release another album as they are still good at what they do.
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on 2 April 2014
This is an absolutely fab album - true Bangles. I can't stop listening to it. Just wish they would release more.
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on 8 March 2012
Hello!
My cd is in perfect conditions, thank you very much, but...I wish I had known if the cd had the lyrics inside...I am Spanish and I like to have the lyrics printed inside every original cd in English that I buy....Maybe, The Bangles didn't think about foreign fans....:P

Thank you very much anyway...:)
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on 8 February 2015
Quite like this, it's much more like the early stuff (All Over the Place LP) than the later hits, so it suits me. Having said that it's not as good as the Susanna Hoofs solo album Someday. which if you haven't got, you should get : )
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