Sound Check: August 2009


Sound Check is a monthly column providing news and reviews of queer women in music.

There’s so much new music coming from queer women lately that I’m going to review several albums this time — so there should be something for everyone!


Sandra Bernhard has friends in high places, including Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. The comedian releases a new musical album, Whatever it Takes, this month and Hynde is one of the guests on the song “All Around.” Hynde’s vocals, of course, are the best part of the track.

Bernhard’s voice is distinctly hers, and that’s because much of it sounds like her talking on the harder-hitting rock numbers. On lighter numbers like the title track, however, it’s a little less like shouting, but still just not very good. Most of the songs are cheesy and sound overproduced.

The only thing I can come away with from Whatever it Takes is my strong respect for Sandra Bernhard as a comedian and actress.

Sarah Bettens‘ new album, Never Say Goodbye, is a mix of live versions of older songs and new tracks like opener “I Can Do Better Than You.” From the beginning, it’s apparent that the out singer/songwriter is exploring other genres and finding her trademark rasp-tinged vocals sound just as good on a jazzy number as they do on sexy bass-fueled songs like “Come Over Here.”

Never Say Goodbye is more old than new, but the sad “Slow You Down,” cover of Bonnie Raitt‘s “Can’t Make You Love Me” and live acoustic version of her K’s Choice hit, “Not An Addict,” make it well worth owning.

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