Archive for classic rock

Heart / Red Velvet Car

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 90000009-04:00 12 by marky7235

Red Velvet Car

Heart is a rock band whose founding members came from Seattle, Washington, USA in the early 1970s.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Going through several lineup changes, the only constant members of the group are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.[10] The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music. After diminishing in popularity for a number of years, the band had a comeback in 1985, experiencing further successes with their power ballads and pop hits throughout the rest of the decade. By the mid-1990s, Heart left their 1980s sound and went back to their hard rock roots which they continue to play today.

To date, Heart has sold over 35 million albums worldwide.[11]

Heart was ranked #57 on VH1‘s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.

The Analysis:

There You Go—-Proving that age and a changing music climate has done nothing to slow down this long-standing band with a trademark classic sound, Heart opens this release with a slight Blues lean that hearkens back to the earlier days of the band and songs like Dog & Butterfly. Nancy sounds as brilliant as ever…her voice aged and laden with even more character. Ann is a master at the guitar and when the sisters join forces on the chorus, you are comfortably back in your youth. Fantastic!

WTF—-Grabbing a hold of both modern culture and a familiar throw back sound, Nancy belts this track out to a heavier guitar than we have heard from this band in quite sometime. This is driving and intricate at times, but never loses steam. Ann delivers a Mike Campbell sounding guitar at times…remarkable…this is like it has always been…consistent and familiar, fresh and lively.

Red Velvet Car—-This begins with a nice ballad sound that also has a slight blues lean that at times gets a bit dirty and dark. The vocal is outstanding..Nancy delivers lyrics that are thought-provoking and full of real life imagery. The inclusion of strings on this tracks produces this huge swell that is accentuated by Ann joining in on the chorus. This is just fantastic…the sisters have returned in fine and full form!

Queen City—-Starting with a very simple guitar and a bit of atmospheric swell, the song opens up a bit and takes on a whole new energy by the second bar of the song. This is fantastic…Nancy delivers a classic vocal…at times really belting out her lines and reminding you of the power she has in her chords. The music remains rather sedate, but the song never loses any energy of vigor thanks to the voice…this is wonderful.

Hey You—-Wow, this is nice….the gentle acoustic guitar is ushered in by the vocal of Ann this time…the basic element of the song falls very much in the realm of an Indigo Girls song…a nice folky flavor. This is so warm and introspective…causing you to devour every word as quickly as it is uttered. This is masterful songwriting and writing….I could not ask for more.

Wheels—-Returning to a more electric feel and another classic sounding Heart guitar sound, the remarkable chug-a-chug sound really reminds you of the late 70’s and early 80’s Heart. The lyrics have a nice dark touch and stick with you in your brain. This is a great return…reminding you of how really great this band was in their heyday and making you want to run out and grab up every release you can find. I am a renewed fan!!!

Safronia’s Mark—-Nicely electric with an acoustic feel, the music takes a bit to really get going…but you feel the urge that Ann must have to really let loose. The vocal is a bit restrained but still has a nice element of power and zeal. This is so nice…I kept backing it up over and over again and wondered again how Ann managed to restrain herself…this song deserved to be let loose. Still, this is Heart and it is hard to find fault with them.

Death Valley—-This has a nice musical track behind the vocal, but you wonder where the energy went that was on the first half of this release. There are some nice sonic breaks on this song and Nancy actually stretches herself a bit vocally, but the song seems lethargic and a bit tired….where did the drive and vigor disappear to?

Sunflower—-Again, this lacks so much energy and vitality. The strings are nice but remind me of an aging band trying to make one more stab at the big time. There is very little energy…for me the highlight of this track is the nice drum track that lies underneath the acoustic delivery of the song. This is a bit lackluster for me…making me want to back up to the first four songs on this release for a new and fresh approach. 

Sand—-I know this is a re-make, but can’t cite the original artist at the moment. this is sparse and naked..the vocal is clean and natural…almost bringing tears to my eyes. The feel of the song magically conveys the lyrical introspection wonderfully well. This is a nice throwback to the mid-80’s heart, although this ballad is not near as huge as anything from that time period.

***3/4 out of 5