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Just Believe It

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Album Review

Susan Cowsill has been making records since she was seven years old, when she was the youngest member of the family pop band the Cowsills during their run of chart hits in the late '60s. But it's taken until 2005 for Susan to record and release a solo album, after cutting three discs with the Continental Drifters and singing backup with seemingly everyone from Dwight Twilley to Giant Sand, and one listen to Just Believe It confirms she wasn't about to waste a single step once she finally had her moment in the spotlight. Just Believe It is a rich and mature album that blends rock, pop, folk, and alt-country influences into a coherent and compelling whole that provides a perfect backdrop for Cowsill's songs. Susan wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on Just Believe It (except for a lovely cover of Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes"), and they manage to combine the freshness of a lyrical voice that's still revealing itself to the listener with the life experience of someone who can write honestly about love, death, parenthood, divorce, and the multitude of blessings and tragedies that go along with spending a few decades on this globe. In short, Cowsill has stories to tell, and she tells them with a skill and vigor that never lets artifice get in the way of cutting to the emotional truth of her subjects. She can also sing them with a voice that's both supple and full-bodied, pretty when she wants it to be and a gale force of emotion when that's needed. Cowsill's band locks these songs down with sympathetic dexterity that serves the songs without getting showy, and her pals Lucinda Williams, Vicki Peterson, and Adam Duritz add subtle but effective backing vocals on several tunes. Quite simply, debut albums are rarely as moving, as revealing, or as accomplished as Just Believe It, and while it may have taken Susan Cowsill nearly 35 years to get to this point in her career, the results are more than worth it — this is masterful music from a major talent.


Born: 20 May 1959 in Newport, RI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Susan Cowsill began her career in the music industry at the tender age of seven years old, when she joined her brothers Bill, Bob, Barry, Paul, and John and her mother Barbara in the pop group the Cowsills in 1966. While best remembered as the real-life group that inspired the television series The Partridge Family, the Cowsills scored a handful of fine hit singles (including "Hair," "Indian Lake," and "The Rain, the Park and Other Things") and released six albums before the group disbanded in 1971,...
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Just Believe It, Susan Cowsill
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