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Susan Cadogan: Two Sides of Susan Cadogan

Susan Cadogan: Two Sides of Susan Cadogan

Susan Cadogan: Two Sides of Susan Cadogan

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Lovers’ rock old and new with Mad Professor at the controls.


Susan Cadogan: Two Sides of Susan Cadogan

Susan Cadogan is best known and loved for her version of Millie Jackson’s Hurts So Good and in truth no-one can ever surpass the Lee Perry production of that 1970s crossover hit and the accompanying Upsetters’ instrumental version. But that was a good time ago and it’s a fine idea to revisit Susan Cadogan’s catalogue through the contemporary lens of producer Mad Professor and his able right-hand man Joe Ariwa. This is by no means a drastic change of direction, as Susan Cadogan first recorded with Mad Professor in the early 90s, and clearly it’s turned out to be a productive relationship.

Here the digital sound replaces the familiar tones of the Perry treatment and the Ariwa studios in London have superseded Kingston, Jamaica, but the album maintains an authentic feel for the songs as originally intended and for the power of Susan Cadogan’s vocals. As Joe Ariwa says, two Sides “is made up of new productions of some old songs and some new songs...this album shows the roots diva in Susan and also the sweeter side of Susan.” So the message moves from endearingly old fashioned love songs such as ‘You’re Mine’ in the first half of the album to the more socially aware take of a new song like ‘Sign of the Times’ and ‘Peace and Harmony’. Whatever the theme of the songs, there’s a lovers’ rock feel to the collection as a whole and a sensitive treatment from the musicians involved, a track such as ‘Hold Me’ rattling along with a loping drums and bass that bring vintage Sly and Robbie immediately to mind.

Reassuringly there are three excellent dubs – ‘Ariwa bonus tracks’ - to close the album and these include, of course, ‘Dub So Good’ which is such a loving version of this great old song that even Lee Perry must be shaking his beard approvingly.

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