Boston songwriter Susan Cattaneo is a new name here at Music Critic towers and judging by the 12 beautifully crafted and produced tracks on Heaven To Heartache, she is a very welcome one. The album opens on the laid back beat of Gotta Get Gone which exudes a kind of honky tonk sleaziness with some fantastic guitar licks and dobro playing. Baby We Fly is completely different in both mood and execution to anything else on the album and is the type of song that eager newly weds take to the dance floor for their first dance. A beautiful song.
The main vibe of this album is one of the poppier side of country. It is bubblegum Americana that it meant to get you dancing rather than contemplating the meaning of life. Girls Night Out is a perfect example. Throwaway lyrics to sing along to with a country rocking backing to fill the dance floor. It is also extremely radio friendly with songs like Fall To Fly, On Again Off Again, Watch The Sparks Fly and Shave all destined to make the play lists of countless radio stations across America. If this album is not competing for an award at the 2011 CMA awards I'll be very surprised.
I like this album. It is fun. It is blatantly commercial and it wares it credentials on every track. Music sometimes can take itself to seriously but this album is a slice of light relief that will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. There are some songs of real beauty on here that show Cattaneo is a songwriter that knows her craft and on Handle With Care she saves the best till last. This piano driven ballad shows she has a more lyrical edge when required and is in possession of a beautifully sultry voice that is blessed with depth and timbre.
This could be the album that makes Cattaneo a household name this time next year.