Heart: Fanatic

Classic rock mavens Heart are back with their 14th album to date, Fanatic. The veteran band starts off strong with distorted guitars and relatively mellow drums that complement the strings. Familiar powerhouse vocals end “Fanatic,” but reinforce the desire to hear how the six-piece switches things up this time around. A dreary and melancholy violin leads into the power punching “Dear Old America.” The song, which initially sounds like it’s honoring the country, spins with snide lyrics that add such an attitude boost to Fanatic that it’s hard to not throw one’s fist in the air to the jam. Keeping with the gritty and ruggedness of the disc, “Skin And Bones” saunters in with a dirty bassline and just blows the rest of the album out of the water. Heart really hit the nail on the head with this hyped up number that just makes the mouth water.

The band continues to push out one hit after another as the disc reaches its halfway point. “Million Miles” builds up with a subtle backbeat accented by the rough strings. On the downside, when the drums kicked in, they drowned out most of what made the track wonderful and just adds unnecessary noise. “Rock Deep (Vancouver)” slows things down with morose yet sweet strings. Ann Wilson’s voice has a tint of vulnerability to it. The finale, “Corduroy Road” brought down the overall excitement of the release with its blandness until the song comes to a close, though it adds another reason to the list of why Fanatic needs to be replayed.

Their 14th studio album made a splash, incorporating fresh tones, instruments and themes into their music. Perfect for the holidays, Fanatic is an album that should be added to any music lover’s collection.

In A Word: Raw