The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
HEARTANDFRIENDSHOMEFORTHEHOLIDAYSREVIEW

 

HEART AND FRIENDS - HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

FRONTIERS RECORDS

NOVEMBER 7 2014

 

 

CD : The River; Seasons; Rocking (feat. Shawn Colvin); Love Come Down at Christmas; POEM; All through the Night (feat. Richard Marx); All we need is an Island; (feat. Sammy Hagar); Santa's Going South (feat. Sammy Hagar); Please Come Home for Christmas (feat. Pat Monahan); Remember Christmas; Barracuda; Even it Up; Stairway to Heaven; Ring Them Bells.
 
DVD: The River; Seasons; Rocking (feat. Shawn Colvin); Love Come Down at Christmas; POEM; All through the Night (feat. Richard Marx); All we need is an Island; (feat. Sammy Hagar); Santa's Going South (feat. Sammy Hagar); Please Come Home for Christmas (feat. Pat Monahan); Remember Christmas; Barracuda; Stairway to Heaven; Ring Them Bells.

 

No one does ‘The Holidays’ quite like our American cousins do they?  And while visions of White Christmases: a blazing hearth and songs round the fire while the tree glistens and sleigh bells jangle in the distance ticks all the right boxes sometimes the sentiment can get a little thick. Let’s face it you really have to be in the mood for Christmas songs and there are so many more bad Christmas songs than there are good ones – in short it’s a veritable minefield.

 

Things don’t start too badly here either with some Holiday-themed songs leading the way. Ann Wilson does a great job with openers ‘River’ and ‘Seasons’ but it’s when the ‘Friends’ start coming in that the wheels start coming off. Initially it looks pretty bleak with Shawn Colvin laying it on thick on ‘Rocking’ a syrupy sickly sweet number that frankly could be anyone at any Christmas get together: you could forgive your friends but not this. ‘Love Come Down at Christmas’ that follows is just awful and immediately makes you want to throw the  audio device you are listening to into the fire where the chestnuts are roasting. Colvin it seems is not my cup of tea…

 

Richard Marx does a little better coming in with Ann on ‘All Through the Night’ but what strikes you most is the over sentimental and quite frankly poor songs selected. It’s almost as if someone has requested the songs with most clichés in and found plenty that you wouldn’t be sad if you never heard again. To be fair Sammy Hagar does at least bring some fun to proceedings and ‘All We Need is an Island’ fares OK as does his own Christmas ditty ‘Santa’s Going South (For Christmas)’.   

 

Pat Monahan of Train takes over with Ann for Charles Brown’s Christmas Blues Classic ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ a song that has been covered by everyone from the Eagles to Jon Bon Jovi. It works because it’s simply a great song, and is the Christmas highlight here by a mile.  We’ll skip over ‘Remember Christmas’ whose only saving grace is Ann’s vocal.

 

The album is rounded out by something far more substantial: three great rockers in ‘Barracuda’ and ‘Even it Up’ (an old Heart track from Bebe La Strange and a favourite of ours) and a stunning ‘Stairway to Heaven’ before we round out with ‘Ring Then Bells’ another rather forgettable Christmas song.

 

This is what it is – a Christmas album, which despite featuring Heart and the sheer gold voice of Ann Wilson, wouldn’t move me to put my hand in my pocket if it wasn’t for just three tracks- the Heart and Zeppelin…

 

I love Heart, always have, but I don't love this album.

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

HEART AND FRIENDS - HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS