Heart is a supremely legendary, highly influential rock and roll band from Seattle who pre-date the notorious grunge movement, and in 2012, remains a tremendous force of nature to be reckoned with. Known for massive hits such as Barracuda, Crazy On You, and Magic Man, Heart continues to spellbind and intrigue even today. Their previous album Red Velvet Car (2010) slammed the venerable collective back into the Top Ten – and now with Fanatic, Heart demonstrates a triumphant staying power that is thrilling to behold. Their fourteenth studio album to date, Fanatic consists of ten dynamic songs that will surely make the rock and roll masses of all ages stand up and take notice.
The album opens with the pulsating title cut Fanatic, an enthralling kick in the head that compares exceedingly well to the Heart hard rock classics of the past. Dear Old America is effective and sweeping, a view of our country from a Marine Corps officer just returning from war.
Walkin’ Good is a sweet and genuine surprise, a wistful ballad featuring a soaring co-vocal by another famed Seattle musician known as Sarah McLachlan. Skin And Bones is funky and attitude ridden, a super cool track that will leave your toes tapping with fiendish glee.
Million Miles is a haunting magnum opus showing both Ann and Nancy Wilson at the very height of their creative prowess. Pennsylvania presents a shimmering power ballad in the grand and glorious tradition of Dog & Butterfly that is a wondrous treat to the ears.
Mashallah is Heart 2012 at their most fierce and driving, channeling Led Zeppelin in their glory days. This spiraling track will remain in your head for ages – especially the moments when vocalist Ann Wilson rages the title of the song with a mesmerizing sense of urgency. Rock Deep (Vancouver) then sways the listener back home with its warm and familiar refrains about the band’s much revered “Seattle in the rearview mirror.”
The down and dirty reverberations of 59 Crunch should send the room spinning when played live. And then closing out Fanatic on a wildly trippy note is Corduroy Road – a stunning conclusion that will leave the listener absolutely breathless, wanting to hear a lot more.
Ann Wilson’s trademark vocals remain as powerful as ever, brimming over with passion and mystique. Sister Nancy Wilson still performs like a woman possessed on guitar, weaving her dark and delicious magic throughout the proceedings. The tapestries found within Fanatic clearly showcase a band still capable of creative sonic art that will be revered throughout the ages. Produced with a timeless flair by Ben Mink, Fanatic is one of the grand and addictive hard rock highlights of 2012 and beyond!
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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