Those of us of ‘a certain age’ may remember Patty Smyth (not to be confused with punk icon Patti Smith) from the US pop-rock band Scandal in the early/mid 1980s. They had a huge hit in the USA with a song called ‘The Warrior’ (currently in the opening credits to Netflix’s ‘G.L.O.W.’) but the band split up before their full potential could be realised.
Fast forward a few years to the mid 1990s and Patty then had a huge worldwide hit alongside Don Henley with the achingly beautiful ‘Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,’ one of the most beautiful songs about a relationship breakdown that you’ll ever hear.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfmNsesuw0w&w=560&h=315]
In the years from then until now she’s done very little other than nostalgia tours with Scandal but yet here she is in 2020 with a new single called ‘Drive’ and a new album (‘It’s About Time’) coming in October.
For the new music, she has teamed up with guitar wizard and producer extraordinaire Dann Huff. He has given this single a delightful pop/country/soft rock Americana sound with layers of beautifully constructed guitar parts that chime through the mix creating a thing of great beauty. It’s a slick sound, but one that completely suits Patty’s vocal style and the overall vibe of the song.
Lyrically, the song is about Patty’s relationship with her sister over the years and the way that her childhood was different from that of other kids. The themes of time passing and the simplicity of life in the past are well-woven through the track: it is beautifully written.
The melodies are simple and effective and it has a delightful chorus hook. After the second chorus, Patty opens up her voice and uses her range to great effect – she has lost none of her vocal ability and that unique tone that she had back in the day is still there. The song finishes with the backing vocalists singing the chorus hooklines while Patty does a call and response counter-melody. This is a really cool way to play the song out and really reinforces the themes within the lyrics.
This is a very strong return to form by Patty Smyth. It’s nothing new or innovative and it doesn’t sit comfortably within any one specific genre – it’s just really good!
If you are a fan of Patty’s earlier work, or if you like rootsy Americana or the more slick pop/rock oriented styles of some modern country (e.g. Keith Urban, Lady A, Little Big Town), you’ll find a huge amount to enjoy here. If the rest of the album is this good, it’ll be well worth checking out.
Welcome back, Patty! We’ve missed you!
Download/Stream: https://pattysmyth.lnk.to/Drive Preorder the new album: https://pattysmyth.lnk.to/ItsAboutTime Follow Patty Smyth: Website: https://pattysmythandscandal.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pattysmyth4real Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pattysmyth Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattySmyth4real
Review by Andy Hawes for MPM