Friday, November 9, 2012

CD Review - Fanatic by Heart

It’s hard to imagine that the sister act of Ann and Nancy Wilson, otherwise known as “Heart,” have been on the music scene for over thirty-nine years. But the girls are still rocking, rolling and sounding better than ever as evidenced on their fourteenth album, “Fanatic.”

Ann Wilson’s powerful and mesmerizing voice is strong and fluid on this ten song CD. Recognizable for her throaty growls and raspy rock-ness, she is still able to knock the hard-hitting rock numbers out of the park. But she is also able to find tenderness in her voice for the ballads that are among the songs featured on this album.

Nancy Wilson’s prowess on guitar is also still as strong and vibrant as ever. Her electric guitar work is heavy handed where it needs be, but it’s her acoustic work that truly shines on “Fanatic.” She just has a magical way of making her instruments come alive.

The songs found on “Fanatic” stretch a wide reach from the intensity of the title track “Fanatic” and “Mashalla” – songs  that bring to mind the Led Zeppelin influences that the band has often spoke of in the past to the slower, more melodic “Rock Deep,” - a tribute to their early days in Vancouver, Canada.

There are some gritty rock numbers here as the sisters stay true to their status as first-rate rock goddess. “Million Miles” and “59 Crunch” find Ann and Nancy giving their all to the down and dirty songs – proving they can still rock out with the best of them!

Tracks that I personally found most enjoyable were the dreamy “Pennsylvania,” the mystical feeling “Corduroy Road” and the tribute to their father, “Dear Old America.”  But perhaps my favorite track was “Walkin’ Good.” Featuring vocal assistance from Sarah McLachlan, this acoustic number is a great song. The chorus hook is memorable, the guitar work is spectacular and the vocals are just angelic. And it was great to hear Ann adding her flute work to the number.  Just lovely!

I admire Ann and Nancy Wilson for staying relevant and present in the music industry that they have given so much to. As “Heart” they have achieved great success, selling 30 million albums worldwide, with Billboard-charting hits in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Not too many other bands can boast of that feat.  And with “Fanatic” they once again prove that they can keep the hits coming. 
You go, girls!


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