SUPERHERO SONGWRITER: Leslie Nuss clearly enjoys playing with the imagery of a sensitive tunesmith who is larger than life--thus the title of her current full-length effort, Action Hero Superstar. . . .
The material that fills "Action Superhero" introduces the listener to a wide spectrum of sounds and emotions, whether it be pain, joy, or even sensuality. It's all in there. And it's all delivered with an earnest hand. . . . More than anything, Nuss writes "songs that stick in people's heads," as she puts it.
The artist--transplanted to New York from what she describes as a "very, very small town in Illinois"--also says she strives to write songs to shake people up. "Walk around the streets [of New York] and look at the people and look at the expressions on their faces. It seems like something in them has died. I'm about living...really living and doing what you really want to do."
Do you need any more enticement to investigate this refreshing young artist? We didn't think so.
Larry Flick - Billboard (Mar 17, 2001)
NYC's Leslie Nuss is an example of a classic case of small town girl meets big city. Originally from Illinois, Nuss is a creative singer-songwriter working with various competent musicians to fill out her catchy songs. Her second album, *Action Hero Superstar* . . . starts with "Blake's England" acoustic guitar and quiet bass and very quickly comes to a very catchy chorus with electric guitar, rock drums, and multi-tracked vocals. The song is very dynamic and an impressive opener and mood setter for the rest of the album.
The following track "So Easily" also contains excellent dynamics, with mid-tempo verses, and break-out choruses reminiscent of *The Pink Album* Tuscadero. Track 3 is probably my favorite, "Dynamite", with its very quick and complex percussion (mixture of snare, shakers, and high hat) and ambient guitars. The song has a very interesting instrumental break down with strings before a fading out repetition of the chorus section, probably the most Beth Orton like track of the album. "Roses Red" follows, calming the quick pace set by "Dynamite" and really showcases
Nuss's voice and personal voice style.
The entire album is very strong and also rocks, so to speak. The album is cohesive, never straying too far from itself while employing different musicians and musical flavors, never afraid to add the right sound.
Michael Otley - Starvox.net (Sep 1, 1999)
Nuss' story is as follows: Promising singer/songwriter out of NYC makes a pleasant record while supporting her fashion-designing career. Said singer/songwriter falls victim to a gan initiation beating at random in a movie theater and uses the settlement money to finance her next record. Action Hero Superstar is the result and it's a damn fine album. On it, Nuss tackles some heavy issues, such as life's fleeting nature, death, love desperation and longing. The listener can hear Nuss working with her demons as the record plays, and it doesn't come off as a self-indulgent exercise. Because of the attack she survived, her musical direction has been defined and Superstar is her therapy. "Life's too short for promises / So much better when you give." These are the words of an artist emerging from the larval stage and examining the world around her with new eyes. On the insert of the CD, there is a close-up of the staples in her head. It's a stark reminder of fater and our powerlessness. Nuss has entrusted us with her most basic fears and revelations. It's the least we can do to listen. --Adam Lawrence
Adam Lawrence - Tablet, Seattle WA