The Wilson sisters have voices that could impregnate a virgin. Ann, in particular, sings me into a state of euphoria every time I listen to Heart. Dreamboat Annie was the album that introduced Heart to America, and it proved that chicks could rock just as hard as guys. Today, female-fronted metal bands are taken for granted. Most of them only have girls at the forefront to sell records, but Heart was no marketing scheme. Ann's plumose, authoritative voice was backed by a band of excellent musicians, including the angelic Nancy Wilson. It's so easy to listen to Heart. Those voices...there are no suitable adjectives I can use that would accurately describe these mellifluous sirens (aside from "mellifluous").
This record is full of winners. "Magic Man" kicks things off with a walking groove and vocals that drip with sex. I love the guitar solo. Every song is packed with careening melodies that gently brush against your eardrums. "Crazy On You" is a classic that sums Heart up in a candy-coated nutshell. Ann's cries of passion drive the song forward with such ardor, it's almost as if she is ordering each instrument to stand at attention. You can feel the music sweating. "Soul of the Sea" is a beautifully orchestrated ballad. Vocal harmonies sweep over acoustic strains like seagulls taking wing over a calm ocean. It's quietly intense.
"White Lightning & Wine" and "Sing Child" are heavy hip-shakers. Dreamboat Annie strikes a flush balance between hard rock and acoustic folk. Overall, I would classify Heart as a folk/progressive rock group. Yes, the Zeppelin influences are obvious, but I think they have a sound all their own for reasons that are just as obvious. I have yet to discuss the title tune, which is split into three tracks. That's because I don't have an opinion on it one way or the other. It's the only piece of music on the album that doesn't make me feel something, which isn't to say that it's substandard. It's very "eh."
Nonetheless, I'm giving Dreamboat Annie a perfect rating. I don't hand those out to just any film/album/whatever I love. I reserve them for true five-star efforts (or in this case, five-Z'dar efforts). I'm also quite fond of Little Queen and Dog & Butterfly. Sadly, I haven't heard any of the other Heart albums in full. I'm not interested in their fluffy 80's material, but of course, I enjoy "Alone" just as much as the next old-school dude (I'm a closet poser). Feel free to recommend a record down below. Is Jupiter's Darling worth picking up? What's the deal with Bebe le Strange? Is the self-titled release really that bad? Say it isn't so!
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 4:57 PM