Upon hearing "Sand", the first single released from Red Velvet Car by Heart, I immediately checked to see that I had not accidentally grabbed a copy of their 1978 release Dog & Butterfly. "Sand" has that acoustically-hip, chanteuse feel that consistently landed Heart at the top of the charts in the late 1970's. That isn't to say sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson confine themselves to the popular classic rock and folk-rock aesthetic. Though they certainly have a solid grasp of this, there is a lot more going
It's hard to believe it has been six years since the release of the fantastic Jupiter's Darling album. Heart and the sisters Wilson have been very busy with live performances, DVDs, solo albums and various side projects. So are they still relevant as Heart after a six year absence from the studio?
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Storytelling is an art form that is slowly fading away in today's music industry, but not if Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have their say. The Wilson sisters, over their 30 plus year career, have given us such lyrical classics as "Dog and Butterfly" and "Dreamboat Annie". The eighties came along and a change came over the sisters. The focus suddenly became less centered on crafting personal lyrical gems and more on cleavage and big hair. It was an educational experience to say the least.
While Heart fans salivate over the soon coming reissues of Heart's back catalog, they are treated to a rarity these days...a BRAND NEW Heart album! Red Velvet Car is the band's first release in quite awhile and they haven't missed a step, as a matter of fact, I think they picked up the pace a little. While Ann and Nancy Wilson certainly have nothing left to prove, you wouldn't guess that from listening to Red Velvet Car.
It's been a long time since Ann and Nancy Wilson spent time tripping on acid in Seattle's Space Needle. And while the ladies have long since moved on from such pursuits the tone of Red Velvet Car indicates that the sisters are well aware of the fact that the music that came out of youthful experimentation is the most-beloved portion of their lengthy body of work.
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It's always a welcome event when the very musically gifted and multi-talented sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson release new music, and what a sparkling album this is. So much so, that one feels like rolling out a red-velvet carpet for these First Ladies of Rock.
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After hearing Heart perform at the US's largest 10 day outdoor music event, Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA on August 10, and hearing "Red Velvet Car" and "WTF" for the first time, I knew that they would have another classic on their hands.
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Ann and Nancy Wilson collaborated as the Lovemongers. They worked together on Ann's solo album. But when they go back to their signature sound of Heart, there's no mistaking it. They sounded like Heart with their songwriting on "Dreamboat Annie" back in the '70s, and they still sounded like Heart when they turned to outside writers for power ballads that took them through the '80s.
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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.