Heart – Red Velvet Car (CD review)

Heart – Red Velvet Car (Legacy Recordings) – CD review –

Unlike some of their peers, Heart no longer releases albums year after year.  In fact, Red Velvet Car is only their 2nd studio effort in the last 17 years.  That’s okay – one listen and you’ll realize it was worth the wait.

The album’s first single,  “WTF,” kicks ass, fueled by a simple, but ferocious ascending guitar riff, very reminiscent of Heart’s classics from the 70’s.  The disc is a mix of rockers, like the driving “Wheels,” and acoustic numbers like the sultry “Red Velvet Car.”  There’s even room for some Eastern influence on “Death Valley” (and for those who are wondering if Ann can still belt it out, she lets it rip on the chorus).  “Safronia’s Mark” features some fine mandolin work from sister Nancy, who also turns in great vocals on the gentle “Hey You.”

Somewhat baffling is the strange effects put on Ann’s voice on some of the tracks, especially “WTF,” where it sounds like she’s singing over the phone.  She can obviously still bring it, so this technique is a head-scratcher, but it’s a minor complaint.  Honestly, if you like classic Heart, there’s not a bad song here.  Rather than cram the disc full of filler, there’s only ten tracks, leaving you wanting more.  If Heart continues to put out albums this good, they can take as long as they want –Tony Peters