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Heart

Red Velvet Car

Review by Gary Hill

In many ways this is a new classic Heart album. It really does feel like something they could have released in the 1970’s. It’s fitting of that style of music. Of course, there are some differences. A title like “WTF” would have meant nothing in the glory days of Heart. Also, there are points where this gets a little heavier. The biggest difference, though, is the vocals. Ann Wilson’s voice is still strong, but her range is a little lower and more limited than it used to be. This makes it feel like Heart, but at the same time, not like Heart.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 

Track by Track Review
There You Go

An acoustic based bluesy rocker, this is a killer tune. It gets quite involved and rocks out a lot more as it continues. It’s strong and very much like old Heart. There are some classical overtones in the arrangement later.

WTF
This screamer is from the “Barracuda” style of music. It’s heavier than that, though. There’s a more melodic section built into it, too. As the arrangement gets more involved later we get some nearly prog rock moments, too. This is very heavy, though.
ed Velvet Car
The title track is more like an acoustic based ballad. It gets more involved as it carries on and borders on progressive rock.
Queen City
This is very much a proggy rocker. It’s definitely very much a trademark Heart song, but, then again, there was a lot of progressive rock in early Heart.
Hey You
The most mellow song on display to this point, this is an intricate and involved acoustic based ballad. It’s very pretty and potent. They power it up to an almost Beatles-like sound later.
Wheels
This is definitely one of my favorite cuts on show here. It’s a powerhouse that’s very much progressive rock in style. It’s a real harder rocker, too. It’s classic Heart, but with a lot of prog in the arrangement. The vocals arrangement is quite complicated, too, with multiple layers.
Saffronia's Mark
Another proggy number, this is more acoustic based and less hard rocking. There’s a bluesy breakdown later and some hints of country show up, too. This is another killer track.
Death Valley
This is another amazing cut. It’s more hard rocking and straightforward, but the arrangement is still dramatic and complex at times. It’s got more progressive rock built into various points along the road.
Sunflower
There’s more of a bluesy groove to this piece. It’s a strong track that works quite well. It’s not really a standout, though. There are some hints of The Beatles on this.
Sand
A balladic cut, this one is the mellowest number of the whole set. It’s a pretty rock ballad and works quite well. I’m not sure it’s the best choice for parting shot, though, just because it’s a mellow tune. They bring more elements to the arrangement as it continues, but it never ceases to be a ballad.
 
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