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Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on Heart

heart

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to see what's up!]

With the early summer release of box set “Strange Euphoria,” last month’s arrival of autobiography, “Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll,” and now the unveiling of their 14th studio album, “Fanatic,” Ann and Nancy Wilson clearly have plenty of creative inspiration left.

Reteaming with producer Ben Mink, who twiddled the knobs for 2010’s “Red Velvet Car,” Heart makes it clear from the opening serrated guitar and prowling bass line of the title track that they can still teach the kids a thing or two about being proper rockers.

One of the few midtempo tracks, “Walkin’ Good,” is a charmer featuring Sarah McLachlan and a reminder of how strong the Wilson sisters are at crafting sweet melodies to complement their gut-kicking leads.

Ann Wilson’s distinctive shriek is as cutting and potent as ever on “A Million Miles,” while her and sister Nancy’s knack for dramatic and poetic lyricism is on display in “Pennsylvania,” a song carried by Nancy’s commanding electric guitar, occasional strings and Ann’s haunting vocals (“A bell is ringing in the courthouse square, rusted angels floating everywhere”).

The other “city” centric song, “Rock Deep (Vancouver)” is a thoughtful ballad that seems to resonate significantly with these Seattle girls. But soon enough, they’re turning up the amps again for “59 Crunch,” a Zeppelin-esque fist-pumper dripping with attitude.

So no, don’t expect the slickness of their ‘80s radio hits, enjoyably fluffy as they were. This is Heart unabashedly reaching back to their roots and doing it with a thunderous stomp.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

9 comments Add your comment

david c

October 2nd, 2012
7:44 am

Not a fan, but I have a lot of respect for the Wilson sisters. Still out there after all these years.

xxx

October 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

Heart sucked then, and they suck now

markie mark

October 2nd, 2012
10:41 am

Heart sucked? man, if you can say “barracuda” sucked, then you need to go back to listening to grunge in your moms basement….

MariettaMike

October 2nd, 2012
1:22 pm

Saw them in 1982 and 1983, then saw them at Chastain Park in 2010. They were great. I really liked the new music off the Red Velvet Car album. I hope they tour again and play an indoor arena. I am tired of getting rained on.

Pete

October 2nd, 2012
2:08 pm

Laughing at the idiot above who says Heart sucked. Markie Mark is correct, this guy can go crawl back down in his parents basement and listen to his Nirvana CD’s. If you want to talk “suck” just about any grunge band will fit that description. But, enough about that, as this is supposed to be an article about Heart.

Last time I saw Heart was summer of 2011, opening for Def Leppard at Chastain. Unfortunately, they had to cut their set short due to a late start because of a power failure at the venue. But they still sound great, Ann Wilson has not lost anything since the 70’s, she can still hit all the notes.

I actually enjoyed the 80’s radio hits, “Alone” is still a crowd pleaser in concert, especially when Ann hits that high note before the chorus!

Melissa Ruggieri

October 2nd, 2012
5:33 pm

MariettaMike – they’re playing the Fox Theatre Nov. 7!

doug marsh

October 2nd, 2012
6:48 pm

I saw Heart play on the Stones Jovan Tour in 1981 at Folsom Field in Boulder CO. Completely Rocked that place out. They played after George Thorogood (sp) They really were good that night and were a complement to the Rolling Stones’act. There is NOTHING LIKE A ROLLING STONES CONCERT!

Guitarth Vader

October 2nd, 2012
10:05 pm

I’ve seen Heart 14 times. First saw them at a Champagne Jam back in the 70’s in the stadium that is no more. They kicked ass then, they kick it now. Nancy’s guitar instruction video was worth the bread. They gotta vibe. Oddly Gretchen Wilson is the only person who I think comes close to Ann singing ‘Cuda. They are not related, but man, youtube Gretchen doing it. She rocks it!!

FenderMan

October 2nd, 2012
11:45 pm

Ann Wilson is one of the best female singers of all time and my personal favorite. She can sing the ballads
and she can sing Zeppelin with equal ease. Another blunder from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
(hall of shame) failing to induct Heart at their last convention. But hey Nina Simone and Patti
Smith are in. What a joke.