"Fanatic" (Sony Legacy; 2012)

Reviewed by Snidermann

The "Sisters Heart" have done it again with their follow up to 2010's "Red Velvet Car" with "Fanatic."

With this recording it seems Ann and Nancy Wilson wanted to get back to basics. "Fanatic" is extremely raw and Ann's vocals have never sounded better. It seems the band decided to strip things down, as though they wanted just the typical rock'n'roll instruments involved. Nancy's guitar is amazing here; I hear her doing something funky with her guitar that I have never heard before. They just keep getting better and better with each new release.

I have spun "Fanatic" for at least five times now, and I like it more with each listen.

Listen up rock'n'roll music lovers: Get this CD. "Fanatic" may very well be Heart's best recording in the last twenty years.

For more information, check out www.heart-music.com

"Red Velvet Car" (Sony Legacy; 2010)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Since the 70s, the woman of Heart have been kicking rock'n'roll ass and taking names. "Red Velvet Car" is just another chapter for these matriarchs of rock music: Ann and Nancy Wilson.

The 80s were hard on the band; just look at the videos for "These Dreams" and "Never" on YouTube. Or check out the cover of the self-titled release -- 80s hair! Yuck! I don't even want to see the environmental footprint from these two videos! The record company made them swing with the times and look the 80s way. Hey, that's the way it was then. Even I had a mullet in the 80s and, if I am not mistaken, so did our illustrious Editor R. Scott Bolton (Editor's Note: No Comment.).

I saw Heart live in 1986 in Los Angeles and I have to say it was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. "Red Velvet Car" came out in 2010 and it proved that the sisters Wilson still have what it takes to put together a great recording.

Still, as much as I liked "Red Velvet Car," I found the recording a little too docile for my taste. Too many ballads and not enough rock'n'roll. That said, it's still a solid recording and my iPod is a better listening device for it.

All hail the queens of rock'n'roll and they are Ann and Nancy Wilson. If you doubt me, see them live or at least check out a live performance on DVD. You'll see the magic.

Rock'n'roll needs Ann and Nancy Wilson; it's a better music world when they are there.

For more information, check out www.heart-music.com

"Jupiter's Darling" (Sovereign Artists; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's not often that we get the opportunity to use the word "beautiful" to describe a CD here at Rough Edge, but "beautiful" is the word that best fits the new album by Heart, their first in nearly ten years.

Don't let the connotations of the word "beautiful" steer you away, however. "Jupiter's Darling" often rocks hard, easily as hard as the band's biggest hits, "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You." Like the best Heart albums of the past, "Jupiter's Darling" is fairly balanced between fast rockers, medium tempo'd tunes and slow, sweet ballads. The main difference between this CD and the more recent Heart releases is that the heavier songs hearken back to the band's earlier days of arena rock. Personally, that's when I think Heart is at their best.

That doesn't discount the slower tracks here. The guitar work throughout "Jupiter's Darling" is absolutely irresistible. The acoustic fretwork is dynamic and, again, beautiful, as are the vocals of the Siren-like Ann and Nancy Wilson. 

The production is as close to perfect as you can get, with each note standing out on its own, bright and crystal clear. 

I can't imagine anyone who liked Heart's "Dog and Butterfly" disliking "Jupiter's Darling." It's a return to form by the veteran band and a sign that they still have much to offer.

Heart: Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Craig Bartock, Darian Sahanaja, Mike Inez, Ben Smith.

For more information, check out www.heart-music.com

"Little Queen" (Sony; 1977)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have had a lifelong obsession with female rock singers and, until this moment, I did not know where it came from—in one word: Heart.

I remember listening to "Dreamboat Annie" and "Little Queen" at a friend's house on vinyl when I was fourteen or fifteen years old and thinking, "This is awesome!” I was forever hooked. Just take a look at the hits that came from this album: "Barracuda," "Love Alive," "Kick It Out," "Little Queen." And those were just the biggest hits; the deep cuts are even better.

The Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, knew what they could do and fuck if it was a man's world. Heart blasted the FM airways with their first two recordings and have not looked back since. They are still a staple on FM radio around the world. I can bet that, at any given time, a Heart song is being playing somewhere in the United States.

The emotional depth on this recording is ever apparent whenever you listen to it. It was first released in 1977 and it still stands up today, forty-seven years later. Everything is right there: killer songs, musical ability that is off the charts, overall style and production value makes Heart's "Little Queen" simply one of the best rock albums of the late 70s.

For more information, check out www.heart-music.com 

"Dreamboat Annie" (Capitol; 1975)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Heart has been part of my musical landscape as long as I can remember. I remember vividly seeing the album cover for "Dreamboat Annie" for the first time but, for the life of me, I cant remember when and where. All I know is "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You" have been bouncing around in my melon since the late 70s. Okay, so I mentioned the two most recognizable cuts from this recording but the deep cuts are even better than the ones that still to this day get FM rock radio airplay around the world (you know it’s true). There is a song called "How Deep It Goes" that showcases Nancy on guitars and Anne on vocals. It features Anne playing the flute. Really? In a rock'n'roll band? Another cut worth mentioning is called "White Lightning" that kicks rock ass with Nancy Wilson on guitar doing what she does and she does it just as good or better than anyone out there.

There is a recurring theme through out this recording that ties everything together and it makes for forty minutes of true melodic rock'n'roll that the sisters Wilson can and conitnue to do with so much grace and style.

For more information, check out www.heart-music.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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