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JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS UNVARNISHED REVIEW

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS

UNVARNISHED

2013

 

 

GOOD HONEST ROCK AND ROLL

 

 

What is it with ex-Runaways at the moment? – first we get Cherie Currie in the studio for the first time in many years on the latest ‘Shameless’ album; then both Lita and Joan have albums out, Lita’s is a live one of course live and here Joan Jett adds a few live cuts as bonuses to this new studio album.

 

Starting with the very poppy and not-insignificantly catchy ‘Any Weather’ Joan’s trademark vocal is as pleasing on the ear as ever from the off, the fact that Dave Grohl co-wrote the track as well as playing on it might add cache for some, but it’s not even the best song here.

 

What is more significant is that on this – Jett’s first album in seven years she picks it up without missing a beat. Three decades after staring her journey, with a decent collection of hits under her belt and therefore little to prove to anyone it’s great to hear her still rocking out.

 

Still with that trademark punky sound, both ‘TMI’ and ‘Soulmates to Strangers’ just sound so much like Joan Jett: good honest no frills, riff driven rock and roll.  And that is what there is to love about this album, it’s not one that’s going to change the world but it’s an album you can get lost in as, to be honest, there’s not really a track to skip over in the opening ten before we get into the live bonus tracks.

 

Elsewhere ‘Make It Black’ kicks us on with what for a moment sounds like a punk take on the ‘Paranoid’ riff. Our favourite pair though have to be no-frills almost Ace Frehley-esque ‘Fragile’ (love the guitars) and ‘Reality Mentality’ which has it all with its handclaps, wailing guitars and great lyrics. To be honest there’s nothing here not to like for Jett fans and both the coming of age/outsider stroll ‘Different’ and the ballad ‘Everybody Needs a Hero’ showcase Jett’s strengths as a songwriter.

 

The addition of a bunch of vintage live material – most notably ‘I Hate Myself for loving You’; ‘Cherry Bomb’ and ‘Bad Reputation’ as well as new song ‘TMI’ just seal the deal.

 

 

Visit Joan’s official website here.

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS UNVARNISHED REVIEW 2013