Kay Hanley- Weaponize

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*Originally published in 2009

Eighteen-years and seven-plus studio albums later, Kay Hanley maintains her grasp on gleeful arrogance while surrendering to her trademark youthful voice. The former Letters To Cleo front woman has held her own in the solo world without compromising her dedicated fan base.  ***Weaponize***, Hanley’s second full-length solo album, is full of pop-rock sing-along gems and is possibly closest in sound to her long-gone Cleo days. “Nicky Passes Marble Arch”, the album’s opener, oozes attitude with strong vocals and guitar power while “Video” is very bass-driven with enough hooks to keep you humming the chorus for hours. “The Wrong Year” is slightly reminiscent of Hanley’s first solo effort ***Cherry Marmalade***, while “Take It Like A Man” captures the polished sound of her ***Baby Doll EP***. “Cellars By Starlight” Captures the simplicity of Hanley’s appreciation for a sunny pop song while playfully name dropping local music venue T.T. The Bears. The feel of “I Guess I Get It” and “Strange Life” truly capture Kay’s new sunny California environment, while album closer “Don’t Drop A Bomb” features a rap chorus by Fan_3. All songs are written by Hanley with many co-written with Husband and former Cleo guitarist Mike Eisenstein. A perfect rock album that can be enjoyed all the way through. Take comfort, because Kay Hanley can still rock with the best of them. (Rob Watts)

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