Heart – Beautiful Broken
Image from musicexistence.com
Beautiful Broken is the 16th album by Heart, released July 8, 2016, on Concord Records. Dang, the Wilson sisters rock, but there’s a reason they’ve been inducted into the Rock n’Roll Hall of Fame!
The album was produced by the talented, Nancy Wilson, and Heart’s bassist, Dan Rothchild. Beautiful Broken is a collection of 7 songs from Heart’s catalog, that the group always wanted to redo, plus 3 new tracks.
The title track features guest vocals by James Hetfield, of Metallica. I rarely like duets, but Wilson and Hetfield are the perfect partners in crime on this amazing tune. The song does a great job showcasing their vocals, as well as some pretty fantastic guitar ala that “Barracuda” guitar sound.
“Two” is a new ballad featuring Nancy Wilson. Her voice has a Cher-quality to it on this particular tune. My favorite part is 1:45 when the bass guitar kicks in. The vocal harmonies between sisters is always sweet. “Two” was written by R&B star, Ne-Yo. Nancy Wilson heard the song on a demo for a television show that her hubby was working on. She fell in love with it and asked Ne-Yo if he would consider giving it to her. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Sweet Darlin'” is a track off of Bebe Le Strange (1980). The instrumental sound: drums, guitar, bass, keys, strings, are all spot on. The string arrangement was done by Paul Buckmaster, who has done string arrangements for Rolling Stones and Elton John.
“I Jump” is a new song featuring more of these beautiful string arrangements. There are so many things in this song, and they are all good. Straight-up crunchy rock guitars, Paul McCartney-esque instrumental runs, and a random 70s interlude.
“Johnny Moon,” a track off of Passionworks (1983), channels Pink Floyd. The guitar solo has a Yes backward sound effect. The song is psychedelic, and I played this at least 3 times in a row.
“Heaven,” a track off Alive in Seattle (2003), follows the same vein by channeling the Led Zeppelin sound, down to the droning sitar. The groove is strong, and the repetitive “let me show you, let me show you” highlight Wilson’s rock opera voice. So good!
“City’s Burning,” a track off of Private Audition (1982), has a fabulous drum and bass guitar intro. Another classic rock gem. Bobbing my head right into the next song.
“Down on Me” will emotionally speak to the depths of your blues soul. I can’t resist a good 12/8 blues, and you will rarely hear a voice like that.
“One Word” reminds us again that Heart has mastered both rock AND the softer side of things. The album closes with “Language of Love,” another track off of Passionworks. The Wilson sisters write such strong, but interesting melodies. It’s one of the many favorite things about this band.
I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a comment below.