Thursday, September 16, 2010

Red Velvet Car Reviews and More

Just about every album review I missed posting. Enjoy!

5 Stars (only the second time this was ever awarded) from! :D

Let's be honest here. Speaking from experience, if you were a young heterosexual male in the '70s, you were probably attracted to Heart primarily because they were fronted by two very attractive young women. The fact that sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson were exceptionally talented was a bonus. They're older now (albeit no less attractive) but the wisdom of age allows us once-young men to experience a new appreciation for the musical portion of the equation.

What'll it be?

Aside from their musical and physical attributes, the lead vocalist (Ann) and principal lyricist/guitarist (Nancy) brought something stylistically new: a fusion of folk and hard rock. They also put on a whale of a live show. Their debut album (not coincidentally, released on Valentine's Day 1976) was an immediate hit, rising to #7 on the U.S. album chart. Although there would be even greater chart success among the 11 studio albums that followed, it was Dreamboat Annie that firmly established the band and produced several of what would become their signature songs: “Magic Man”, “Crazy On You” and the title track.

There were ups and downs, and a lot of turnover among the non-Wilson members of the band, but Heart are not just surviving, they're thriving in 2010. They've been touring extensively the past couple of years, and are celebrating the 34th anniversary of their first studio album with the release of their 13th, Red Velvet Car.

Based on the pre-release publicity, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It spoke of an “acoustic approach” and made much of the “assortment of strings” employed, including “guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, cello and autoharp.” Was this going to be the Heart we've known and loved (and lusted after) all these years, or a venture into some experimental realm?

Forget acoustic. The opening track, “There You Go” isn't raucous but it is intense, melodically and lyrically. It showcases some of that great Ann-Nancy family harmony.

After the cerebral intensity of the opening cut, “WTF” smacks you in the face with drums, electric guitar and some of Ann's best gravelly growling.

“Red Velvet Car” is pure blues. Forget the girly-girl implications of the title. It's bluesy-blues – hypnotic and, yes, sexy.

“Queen City” is a combination autobiography and tribute to the band's hometown, Seattle. The imagery of “keeping afloat in a leaky boat” is compelling.

“Hey You” is interesting because it employs multiple styles. It starts out with a bit of a country flavor, but then suddenly (but seamlessly) erupts into a '60s pop sound. The story (broken hearted lover) fits both.

My first impression of “Wheels” was that it sounded like it could be part of a movie soundtrack. Then I read an interview with Ann in which she explained that it actually evolved from a song they were “trying to write” for the movie, Midnight Run. This one keeps your attention because it makes you want to know how the story turns out.

The folk influence is much in evidence in “Safronia's Mark”, which Nancy describes as a “gypsy folk urchin song and another Seattle story.” It has a slightly supernatural quality to it that draws you in.

A rare exception is Heart

As the title implies, “Death Valley” is not a happy song. It is (in more or less equal parts) about life on the road, and the allegorical “bad trips” we all take as we stumble through life.

Nancy wrote “Sunflower” for (and about) Ann as a birthday present. Like the back story, the lyrics are touching.

“Sand” is the only song on the album that wasn't written specifically for Red Velvet Car. The Wilsons recorded it in the early '90s with an acoustic group they put together called The Lovemongers. The song is about endings, and makes a great closing track.

This album is as good as rock gets, and Heart sounds as good as they ever have.

Like most people, I have three or four favorites on any given album that are the ones I primarily listen to. Rarely does every song get equal replay. Red Velvet Car is one of those rare exceptions. uses a five-star rating system for reviews. In the five years that I've been writing these reviews, I have only given one perfect score (for Bob Seger's Face the Promise.) I hereby award the second one to Heart for Red Velvet Car. Classic Rock


4 Stars

Once in 1982, a beautiful girl in a car sped past Brad Hamilton, a senior jerk at Ridgemont High. Who would have foreseen nearly 30 years later, the same girl would drive up to us again, this time, in Heart’s excellent Red Velvet Car?

A red velvet car is Heart’s ark for the lonely and the mistreated. The sisters Wilson sing about who gets to ride in their backseat and who is left to rot with the vultures, namely: bad boyfriends (“There You Go”), record company officials (“WTF”), and assholes that cut you off on the highway (“Safronia’s Mark”). It’s no secret that Heart’s most compelling material is often drawn from a dirty wound.

“WTF” is the hard rock powerhouse. Guitarist Craig Bartock provides a galloping “Barracuda” beat that stops just short of Ann threatening some unlucky soul at the other end of the tunnel: “There’s hell to pay and it’s your turn” while Nancy does her signature hop-scotch high kicks. “There You Go” has a stripped down bluegrass feel despite the string harmonies. Ann whisper-howls the long vowels, sounding remarkably close to her 26-year-old “Dreamboat Annie” self.

Circle of life imagery of trees, raindrops, and sunshine is in no shortage on this album. “Hey You” and “Sunflower,” sung by Nancy, are lilting and innocent, her guitar work dynamite whether she’s by a campfire or in the center of a football stadium. She mixes a bit of both these strengths on “Sand,” a favorite of their spinoff group, the Lovemongers. The recording balances instrumental frills with Dog & Butterfly delicacy.

Red Velvet Car has something for every kind of Heart fan, whether it’s virtuosic ‘70s guitar solos or soaring ‘80s choruses, Heart as lovesick Ophelias, or headbanging femme fatales. Since the musicianship quality is so inventive and fresh, it would be easy to say this album could fit anywhere in the Heart discography, but Red Velvet Car is simply a sterling album made by a pair of classic rock underdogs who really aren’t underdogs anymore. Heart has been one of the only bands of their generation to consistently produce hot new material that is both inventive and true all of their roots. Of course it’s Heart. It always has been, silly, silly fools.



3.5 out of 4 Stars

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the new Heart album — one of only two the group has released over the last decade and a half — is as strong as it is. Outlasting expectations comes naturally to Ann and Nancy Wilson, who in the mid-’80s transformed Heart from the lean hard-rock act responsible for “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to the slick power-ballad factory behind “These Dreams” and “What About Love.”
Still, rare is the band doing work this good at such an advanced age; rarer still is the band doing it, as Heart does on “Red Velvet Car,” without employing a sober return-to-roots approach.
The best tunes here are as fun — and as delightfully trashy — as anything in the Heart songbook: In “WTF,” Ann flexes her powerful She-Ra vocals over Nancy’s killer fuzz-grunge riff; “Queen City,” an ode to the Wilsons’ native Seattle, features a chorus lyric composed in large part of pirate slang. Later, “Death Valley” earns its title with some gorgeous evil-angel harmony singing.
“Red Velvet Car” also emphasizes Heart’s mystical-folkie side in cuts like the slow-burning title track and “Sand,” which the Wilsons first performed with their acoustic side project, the Lovemongers. But even there you can hear a joy and a sense of humor in the music that distinguishes it from the grim output of so many heritage acts.
Thirty-four years after the band’s debut, Heart’s dreamboat sails on.

LA Times


If you’re a fan of Heart, you probably have an affinity for their early stuff, as in the Dreamboat Annie days. Or you might have been hooked in the ‘80s, when, as singer Ann Wilson says, the band “made a devil’s bargain” – i.e. they wrote pop songs that the label wanted them to, such as “Never” and “If Looks Could Kill.” Not that those songs were bad; in fact, some would argue that this is when Heart really arrived. Still, these sisters and their band mates appear to long for the “good old days,” when they could emulate their biggest inspiration, Led Zeppelin. And now with Red Velvet Car, Heart’s first studio album since Jupiter's Darling in 2004, they have succeeded. A big reason is producer Ben Mink, who has re-created the best of the “old” Heart but has given it a slick, current feel as well. The songwriting is top-notch, and while Ann Wilson’s voice is showing signs of weathering, you can put this album up against any heritage act’s new material and it will stand up, and above, just about anything. “There You Go” kicks off with a similar rhythmic riff to one of Heart’s biggest hits, “Straight On,” and it’s a solid start. And the Zeppelin vibe is in full glory on “WTF,” “Queen City,” and in particular on “Death Valley,” with Nancy Wilson emulating Jimmy Page’s tone and playing with sick precision. But the band shines big on the title track, on which Ann belts it out like in her heyday, and on a track Nancy sings, the acoustic driven “Hey You.” “Safronias Monk” feels like 1978, and the closer, “Sand,” also sounds like classic Heart, but maybe more like an anthem from the ‘80s. It can’t be easy to say you want to go back to your roots and actually do it, but Heart appears to have done just that. And despite the fact that the sisters Wilson have been rolling along for years on tour, Red Velvet Car is the type of effort that should, and might, win “comeback of the year” awards.

Eat, Sleep, Drink Music


Ann and Nancy Wilson, figureheads of this classic rock band set up in the early Seventies, are the archetypal rock chicks and it’s great to see after so long and a six-year break they have lost none of their throat‑damaging, ear-splitting ways on this return to top form.

A mix of thrashing guitar throwdowns and gentler ballads (nothing too soppy, naturally), this is a collection of proper grown-up songs, best enjoyed with a bottle of beer and leather trousers.

UK Daily Express


LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Nancy Wilson of Heart says the travel aspect of touring remains "just as hard" after almost four decades. "But the sweeter thing," she adds, "is to still be doing it."

She and sister Ann Wilson are touring in support of their first studio album in six years, "Red Velvet Car" (Sony Legacy, August 31). Written on the road and featuring the act's signature rock sound with deep acoustic currents, the album is gaining traction on adult contemporary radio with "Hey You."

"The heat at radio reminds me of the old days," Nancy says. "It's good to see stations adding it and people requesting a simple love song I've had in my back pocket for quite a while."

Guitarist Nancy and singer Ann have quite a few previous hits in their back pockets. Co-founders of '70s-spawned Seattle band Heart, the sibling frontwomen/songwriters forged a gateway for female rockers. Among the act's 21 top 40 hits: "Magic Man," "Barracuda," "These Dreams" and 1987's "Alone," which has become a favorite of "American Idol" contestants.

"'American Idol,' Fergie doing 'Barracuda,' 'Guitar Hero' ... all the different imprints of the songs we did in the '70s and '80s are connecting the dots, bringing a new generation to our live shows," Nancy says. "We've even seen people showing up with kids 10 years and younger."

"We have to get this baby born and on the map," Nancy says. "It's our calling."



Nothing beats live music. Hands down, the live experience trumps any audio or video recording I've ever seen of an artist performing. That said, the next best thing is a concert recording, preferably video so you can see the actual performance instead of simply listening to it.

I have never seen Heart live other than the occasional performance I've seen on television. It's on my list of things to do. But their album Red Velvet Car is probably more intimate than I could possibly be, even if I was sitting in the front row. From beginning to end, I felt each track like it was recorded in my living room. It might have been a LOUD living room at times where the windows rattled, but you know what I mean...

The sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have been queens of rock and roll ever since Dreamboat Annie hit radio waves in 1975, but Red Velvet Car is their first release in six years. This album manages to capture the classic Heart sound - from the style of "Barracuda" to "Dog and Butterfly" - while adding a new dimension that only age and experience can provide. From the duo's voices that sound as good as 35 years ago to the guitars, songwriting, and harmonies that only they can create, it's damn good to hear them rocking out again with some new tunes.

And with ten new tracks, we got a lot of new music to enjoy. I don't know whether it's the quieter tunes like "Hey You" and "Sand" or the rocking tunes like "There You Go," "Wheels," and "Death Valley" that echo most in my mind long after listening. But whether you enjoy the fierce energy of electric guitars or the solace of getting lost in acoustic guitars and voices emotionally telling what can only be personal tales, there's something for anybody who enjoys good music on this album.

The opening track "There You Go" tells a cautionary tale about losing control and being burned. With guitar melodies and rhythms sounding barely under control, you feel like the train is rushing forward only to crash in a ball of flame... "There you go again / Walking straight into the freezing flame / There you go again / There you go in the media insane..." The band is telling some poor innocent soul to be wary of the whirlwind of fame, to watch out for herself.

"Wheels" is another song that just drives along like a freight train in the dark. Again, the guitars and bass lines simply pound the song forward to some unknown destination. As they sing "Just close your eyes now / And breath a sigh now / Out of here" - like some great escape on the rails or open road. It's impossible not to tap your toes as it drives on. (Note to self - don't listen to this song while in the car with a known speed trap).

But it's "Sand" that sticks with me the longest. The last song on the album, it's a story of endings or loss. The acoustic guitars set the stage and Nancy's expressive voice felt like I was listening to a song played at a funeral. Something private shared with a crowd to let them know whomever it was that left them is still with them, like sand in the wind. "I asked a distant star / I wonder where you are / the shadow at my door / the friend who is no more..." I couldn't help but think of a friend I'd lost years ago... "Surely this sweet sand will run out by and by / and while the days come down to you / you are just a traveler passing through..."

It's the intimacy that just floors me each time I listen to the album. I truly felt as though I had somehow slipped into a jam session as a fly on the wall... soaking up the music and the tales.

Red Velvet Car will be released on August 31, 2010 and I would encourage anyone who's heard Heart in the past to pick up a copy. It's another great album from Ann, Nancy, and the band to listen to over and over again.



On their first new studio album in six years and their best new album in ages, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart balance the cool allure of acoustic instrumentation with enough grinding rockers to match the magic of their early years.

Too often overlooked and underappreciated among the mega-metropolitan elite, the Wilson sisters have nevertheless been a hugely influential force on rock and this disc could offer a blueprint to a lot of new acts looking to get their feet off the ground.

Back on a Sony-related label for the first time since 1983, Heart sparkles on cuts that include the scorching “WTF,” the acoustic-based beauty “Hey You,” and the sizzling “Wheels,” all of which fit neatly alongside their earlier classics like “Barracuda” and “Magic Man.”

“WTF” has some particularly touching lyrics, includes the line “The hardest thing you’ll ever learn is what bridge to cross and what bridge to burn,” which was directly inspired by journal writings from the Wilsons’ late mother who passed away about four years ago.

Ann’s voice can still rip a roof off a house and Nancy’s work with producer Ben Mink on instruments such as autoharp, guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo and more, offer a mesmerizing soundscape throughout the 10-song disc.

For my extensive interview with Nancy Wilson click here.

Tracks to download: “WTF” “Hey You”



Some classic rock reunions are driven by marketing, some driven by a desperate need to reconnect to the past, some exist merely for the music. Red Velvet Car, Heart’s first album since 2004’s Jupiter's Darling, belongs to the latter camp: it’s music with no seeming commercial aspirations, music that is connected to the past but doesn’t strive to replicate it. Heart eschews their teased, corseted ‘80s bombast and sticks to the Zep worship of the ‘70s, an obsession that’s proved quite fertile. The Wilson sisters are clearly older than they were when they belted out “Barracuda” — the tempos are generally slower, Ann’s voice doesn’t reach the same heights — but they embrace their age, a move that gives their excursions into folk including a revival “Sand” from their 1990 Lovemongers sideproject, a record that pointed the way toward the textured movie here. Red Velvet Car has something of a meditative mood — the punchy Townshend power chords are used as color, not fuel — triggered somewhat by a preponderance of textured, acoustic-laden arrangements and miniature epics, all elements that hearken back to Heart’s golden age yet wind up feeling right in line with their vibe in 2010.



The first collection of original songs by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, along with their current players, since 2004’s forgettable Jupiter's Darling, takes several spins to absorb. But the effort pays off. What we get is moody rock ‘n’ roll that crawls beneath the skin (”There You Go,” “Safronia’s Mark”), begs for head-bobbing (”WTF”) and proves emotionally arresting (”Red Velvet Car”). A solid record, indeed, that reminds us why we still love Heart.

Dallas Morning News


This classic Seattle band is the all-time best female-fronted outfit – at least the best that doesn’t have Joan Jett or Deborah Harry in its lineup. Ann and Nancy Wilson go the quieter route on album 13, their first in six years. “WTF” is a classic rocker in the “Crazy On You” mode, but mostly these 10 tunes feature mandolin, fiddle, dobro and other acoustic instruments. Ann, at age 60, can still hit those freakish high notes with ease and guitarist Nancy shines throughout, especially on the song to download, “Safronia’s Mark.”

Boston Herald


Red Velvet Car comes on (or off!) like a slinky black dress, a tickled chin-coo that occasionally forms a fist and thumps you one ’cross the kisser. It’s a sleek, compact, muscular vessel, the kind Heart used to make when it pumped thunder and crunch behind a rock-solid grill.

The album, the Wilson sisters’ first all-new studio venture since Jupiter’s Darling (2004) and their first under the Sony umbrella since Passionworks (1983), cruises past the canon misfires and market capitulations to summon the seasoned essence of what rattled eardrums and severed cortexes many Dreamboat Annies and Lovemongers ago.

Ann and Nancy Wilson don’t rock harder — Velvet’s a mostly acoustic beast — but smarter. They’ve logged some serious road time on their odometers, and they pack an education into “There You Go,” a plugged-in unplugged tumble with a heavy bass ticker (Ric Markmann, billed within as Citizenship; Ann and Nancy are Forces of Nature and Weather Systems, respectively — consult your local smitten meteorologist for details). “You’re riding so dirty, dirty and fast,” warns head belter Ann, her delivery still clear and sharp, edged with a hard-earned raggedness.

And she knows of what she sings, even when reduced to the Internet shorthand of “WTF,” a rage amplified by Nancy’s steady six-string gallop. But with her legendarily stratospheric range, Ann doesn’t project in text-message brevity; when she produces a cell phone on “Death Valley” — where all are joined by none other than Rush’s Geddy Lee (Mazel) — she pounds the following message across her sister’s leveled valleys: “Heaven forbid this place / It’s hotter than hell and I’m losing my cool / This is not of the human race.” In short: >:O.

Nancy’s hot and cool as always, whether she scalds, burns, soothes, or hums. Abetted by producer Ben Mink (Magic), she breaks out a tingling coterie of acoustic implements to kick back on a porch and address the descending sun. “Hey You” glides like lemonade over a sing-song break; “Sunflower” bends softly in an agreeable summer gust. On the previous she laments, “And the symphony is gone, gone,” but Mink-guided strings are in abundance throughout Velvet, though never intrusive. They stir, among others, the helping-hand title track, the chest-clutch of “Safronia’s Mark,” and “Sand,” the contemplation of mortality that ends the disc on a solemnly thoughtful note. “And while the days come down to you,” Ann muses in adios from a figurative driver’s seat, “you are just a traveler passing through.”

Streaks of spectral residue trail from fading tail-lights. A horizon unfolds, growing ever closer. The red velvet car is always in motion. There are bridges to cross, to burn, as the song goes. Luckily, Heart has many more miles to travel before they make that final turn.

The Daily Wrazz


The Wilson sisters of Heart were hard rock’s main mamas in the ’70s. Biting, clarion-clear vocalist Ann Wilson; harmony-singing, guitar-slinging sister Nancy; and the pair’s cleanly emotive brand of Zep-inspired folk-and-pop-metal melody ruled the charts. Eventually, they turned into a hair band doing Bic-flicking power ballads and became their own acoustic side project (Lovemongers) in between semiretirements.

Along with gearing up for a catalog overhaul, Heart recorded this stirring first new studio album in six years with warmly dramatic producer Ben Mink. The results are closer in cloyingly contagious melody and intimate lyricism to their early music, as in the cocksure “Queen City.” Yet the album’s mostly acoustic palette of cello, autoharp, banjo, and such allows songs such as the softly sonorous “Hey You” to take your breath away without ever eschewing their ability to rock out, as Heart does on the rousing “WTF.” 

The Philadelphia Inquirer 


Having released their first album in Seattle on Valentine’s Day, 1976, Heart is one of the most enduring rock bands in music. The new album, Red Velvet Car, is only their second album since 1993. Jupiter’s Darling, released in 2004, an excellent album and a return to their hard rock roots was very overlooked, selling only around 100,000 copies. Red Velvet Car is a celebration of the acoustic along with the Mandolin, Dobro, Fiddle and Viola among other instrumentation.

It kicks off in great fashion with the opening track There You Go, heavy on bass and acoustic followed by the rocker WTF which has a bit of The Who’s, Won’t Get Fooled Again to it. The title track is an excellent ballad with some nice string arrangements and is followed by the sister’s ode to Seattle, Queen City. Next is the folksy, Hey You with Nancy showing off her very capable chops with lead vocals followed by the fast-paced Wheels. Safronia’s Mark comes next and is a song that I’d really like to know the meaning behind and then it’s the slightly edgier Death Valley. Sunflower, again sung by Nancy, slows things down again and the album is closed by the very capable Sand.

It’s worth mentioning that Target has two exclusive bonus tracks, Closer to the Sun and In the Cool, no mere cast-a ways they are every bit as good as every other track on the album with In the Cool being lyrically, one of the most powerful.

As one of the best female vocalists, Ann hasn’t lost a thing. She sounds every bit as good as she did on hits like Magic Man, If Looks Could Kill and Barracuda. Nancy, of course, is one of the greatest guitarists in music. You won’t be skipping a single track on this album as every song brings something to the table. Much like David Gilmour with On an Island and Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, with his recent Roadsinger, Ann and Nancy Wilson seem to be in a place in their career where they are unencumbered with the pressure of producing hit singles and are now doing what they love out of sheer enjoyment and happiness. Albums like this make me look forward to turning 60. Heart may have fallen off a lot of people’s radar and indeed many of the younger generations may not even be aware of them but to music lover’s I say buy this album and to those of the younger generation I implore you, give the Lady Gaga albums a rest and open your Heart.



Sound: We all know the Heart sound, and although Red Velvet Car doesn’t feature the keyboards that we know and love, it doesn’t need to; instead focusing on Heart’s other qualities, which the band has in abundance.

Much is made of Nancy Wilson’s skills with a guitar in her hands, and the fuss is vindicated on Red Velvet Car. She is an accomplished guitarist, avoiding superfluous flash, embracing the art of song writing: every note played suits the song perfectly. Just listen to the bluesy rocker WTF, in which Nancy admirably turns a classic sounding bluesy note sequence into a rock tune with attitude and style. Strangely enough, a lot of the heavier guitar playing shuns a proportional amount of distortion, instead relying upon attitude and dynamics. It makes for some interesting exploration of ideas, even raising questions regarding how authentic distorted hard rock bands really are.

Not only is the guitar playing on the ball, but the percussion manages to stay keen to the idea of the song, varying from hard rock (WTF, Wheels, Safronia’s Mark), to mellow folk rock that even borders on bluegrass influences (Hey You). This is the sound of an experienced band, accommodating for the lack of innovation with a classic sound only too often the subject of weak counterfeiting by the young pretenders of modern music. // 7

Lyrics and Singing: Lyrically speaking, Heart has always been championed upon some sort of pedestal. This was a reaction to the full page ad in Rolling Stone insinuating that the Wilson sisters were involved in an incestuous homosexual relationship, an event to which the sisters took exception. Thus, the classic song—Barracuda—was born. This time round, Heart tackles issues such as losing youthful nihilism and burning out (There You Go), and even the loss of loved ones in the form of the intimate song, Sand. The lyrics do at times struggle for relevance, but it isn’t that Heart has nothing to say; it’s just that they have said it well before now, whilst vocally, Ann Wilson remains impressive both in terms of skill and diversity. She has often been compared to Robert Plant, and although she doesn’t command an audience quite like the Led Zeppelin vocalist, she can surely boast a voice of similar power. // 7

Impression: This isn’t the Heart of old, but Red Velvet Car has been widely touted as the best Heart album in years. It’s hard to find fault with such a verdict, but one is inclined to keep a lid on any hype surrounding the release of this album. Heart might be widely respected as one of the first bands to prove that girls can do rock, but that legacy alone won’t sell records; fortunately, the Wilson sisters seems to be aware of this, and have crafted an album that does no harm Heart’s legacy. // 7



After seeing Heart twice in concert, one could guess that I'm a Heart fan. So it be no surprise that I RAN to the store to get this album when it was released! First album of new materiel since 2004's Jupiter's Darling, Red Velvet Car proves to be a worthy of wait! This album could possibly be their best since 1980's Bebe la Strange. That's saying a lot!

Returning back to the roots of the heyday of the 7o's, the Wilson Sisters and company will rock you breathless and memorize you with their folkish ballads. The album starts out with the intense acoustic "There You Go" before slamming into the all out rocker of "WTF" Title track "Red Velvet Car" reminds me of "Dog & Butterfly"-simply gorgeous. "Queen City" is an homage to their hometown of Seattle. Nancy Wilson offers her seductive voice to the country flavored "Hey You".

The album gets better at this point! "Wheels" proves that Heart can still rock like barracudas. My favorite track, "Safronia's Mark" begins with a mandolin laden lush that builds to climatic ending. Grunge like rocker "Death Valley" tells about the life on the road and the "bad trips" we take in life. In the beautiful "Sunflower" Nancy writes to her sister Ann with some touching lyrics. The closing number "Sand" is a retake of what they did in the Lovemongers. I believe I heard that song the last time I saw Heart last summer. It was a dedication to Micheal Jackson, who had died the day before.

Only a shell of the original band remain. Sisters Ann and Nancy are still taking the reigns while newcomers guitarist Ben Mink and bassist Ric Markmann fill in the vital places. Ben Smith rejoins on the drums. Long time member Howard Leese left in 1997 and now touring with Bad Company.

I highly recommend this album! ....Even if you are not a Heart fan.

Drew's Odds and Sods


Ann and Nancy Wilson were two of the first girls to show the world that girls can rock too. Since the 1970′s, Heart has been topping the charts with tracks like “Barracuda”, “Crazy On You”, “What About Love”, “If Looks Could Kill” and many more. Heart has packed out shows, sold more than 30 million records, and has 21 Top 40 Hits. Their newest album, “Red Velvet Car”, and their 1st in 6 years, is truly a masterpiece. These girls definitely know how to rock with the best.



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