In the mid-90's, Suzy Bogguss was a powerhouse name in country music, garnering a half-dozen top-ten singles,  numerous awards, and even the coveted Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Female Vocalist.  However, as with all things, time and age took their toll.  After a brief hiatus from the music scene to raise her family, Bogguss returned to an ambivalent audience of listeners who had seemingly moved on from her tender style of song writing.

For those who may have moved on, however, Sweet Danger represents a modest redefinition of Bogguss as a singer, songwriter and musician.  To begin, it is difficult to classify this album as "country."   While there are certainly discernible country roots underlying the melodies, tracks like "The Bus Ride" and "It's Not Gonna Happen" are delightfully steeped in soft washes of jazz, transforming Bogguss' voice from country-twanger to smoky-club crooner.  Yet on songs such as "Sweet Danger" and "Chain Lover", the subdued jazz tones are seamlessly exchanged for intoxicatingly gritty and indefatigable blues' themes.  However, lest this album be seen as a manufactured attempt at personal redefinition, the transformation is short of total–the listener is quickly reminded of Bogguss' country roots on cuts like the melodically mesmerizing "Baby July" and the oddly out of place "In Heaven".

Despite the musical reorientation achieved on Sweet Danger, fans of Bogguss will quickly discern the former star waiting within the wings of the new album.  Although diverse in sound and execution, Sweet Danger is a well-planned convergence of music and lyrics.  Riding gracefully upon the measured pace of the album, Bogguss' lyricism is fittingly crafted, forging an intimate portrait of this talented and thoughtful songwriter, reminding the listener of many of the reasons why Bogguss was so successful in the past.

Sadly, mainstream country music is not prepared nor mature enough for the invigorating experimentation of Sweet Danger, so there is little chance that Bogguss' revolution will engender more than a localized phenomenon.  Nonetheless, Bogguss' work reminds, in the same way that Paul McCartney's newest work reveals, that innovation isn't the exclusive property of the young.  And perhaps that is enough.