susan justice/eat dirt ‘can’t miss pop gem” cd review by john emms

susan justice/eat dirt ‘can’t miss pop gem” cd review by john emms

Susan Justice’s debut album Eat Dirt gets to you on the first listen but more importantly gets under your skin on repeated listens.

What you hear is what you get. With Justice it’s vulnerabilty, honesty and the abilty to make you feel what she is singing.

That may sound easy but many producers don’t understand this and surround vocalists with too much technology and what I like to call “extra shite”.

Justice does not need it. And in the hands of super star producer Toby Gad she gets real close and personal.

There is a joy of discovery to this recording that gets to the listener. Maybe it comes from Justice performing in subways or getting inspired by artists like Tracy Chapman.

Either way you feel it.

The real trick for Justice will be the ability to pull off gorgeous songs such as Company, the title track, I Wonder, and Paper Planes in a live situation.

That always seems the spoiler, when you see a young performer you want to hear them them with a cool little band. Some acoustic guitars, a piano etc.

What you sometimes get, is a ton of backing tracks and auto-tune.

Elsewhere, on songs like the uptempo Alive, and the killer pop of You Were Meant to Sing Justice gets reflective with integrity.

What more do you want from a pop debut?

Justice comes off as the real thing. And her debut is a can’t miss pop gem.

JOHN EMMS is veteran music journalist, online rock/roots radio host roots songwriter and has fun with a blues combo

Review: The Subway Recordings by Jeremy Grand music blogger

susan cagle subway recordings

Susan Cagle
The Subway Recordings

By Jeremy Grand

Next time you are in the subway station and you see someone performing, pay attention for a few minutes before disregarding them as typical New Yorkers. If they are anything like Susan Cagle, they might just be the next big thing. Cagle was actually discovered this way, showcasing her talent for the mass-transit masses on the gritty and noisy platforms. She made enough of an impact to overpower the sounds of the rails and impress the record company people that were actually paying attention, and creating for her a real dreams-can-come-true fairytale.

The Subway Recordings is a compilation of Cagle’s best underground performances, complete with the always-recognizable sound of the screeching wheels of the subway cars and the constant murmur of voices in the sleepless town of Manhattan. But even those couldn’t overshadow the power and soul of the beautiful and talented folk-rock city princess, belting out gorgeous love ballads and dreamy toe-tappers.

From beginning to end, Subway entrances listeners with what she does best: performing for a crowd of sub-dwellers with a professionalism and gorgeous sound that is sometimes not even heard on an album by some of the most popular musicians. Never a sour note, never a falter or slip, the songs seem to flow through her veins like musical blood, with every note change and drum pound another beat of her heart.

The sad thing is that now that Cagle is signed, the underground performances will most likely severely dwindle, or cease to exist altogether, taking away the great free entertainment people have come to cherish. Let’s just hope there will one day be another Susan Cagle to make us forget about the shade of the nitty gritty, if only for one song.


Transcript of review posted on July 1, 2007 by music blogger Jeremy Grand