Brigade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Heart as a group has gone through several changes since coming into prominence in the mid-'70s (with the album "Little Queen"), but, thankfully, the band has held onto four important elements: Ann and Nancy Wilson, their sound, and Ann's incredible voice. Ann's voice, in particular, is what separates this band from any other, for it was her voice that made songs like "Barracuda" and "Magic Man" instant rock classics. Their new album, "Brigade," doesn't break any new ground, but it is tougher than their last two pop-oriented albums, and is also, according to the band, a return to their roots as hard driving rock musicians.

Heart made a comeback in the mid-'80s by reinventing themselves and their sound for commercial gain. They stepped into top 40 territory with songs like "These Dreams" and "What About Love," and capitalized on their new found success with the critically panned "Bad Animals" album of 1987. "Brigade," in fact, has slightly more depth than its predecessors, but it's also commercially satisfying enough to assure the group a financial profit.

Already the band has released three tracks from the album, and two of them were recent top 20 hits. The first, and most successful release "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," sparked some controversy because of its lyrical content. The song tells of a woman's passionate night spent with a stranger, and of the child conceived because of it. "Safe sex " advocates were outraged by this song, and some radio stations refused to play it until after 10: 00 p.m. Heart, however, offered no apologies and maintained that the song (originally written in 1979) was meant to show a woman in a position of authority and power.

Their second release, "I Didn't Want To Need You," appeared to be an extension of "All I Wanna Do..." by lyrically telling of how a woman comes to the realization that she's actually fallen in love with the man she's had a superficial affair with.

Nancy Wilson takes the lead on their third release "Stranded," and gives it a warmer, more appealing vocal than Ann delivers. Nancy's voice doesn't have the range or power of her sister's but she does have excellent phrasing and a melodic style all her own.

For good reason, Heart doesn't rely on their song writing skills to sell this album. The songs here are shallow, trite and sophomoric, except for "Fallen From Grace," which has some credibility. Ann Wilson wails like a banshee in "Wild Child," "Tall, Dark, Handsome Stranger," and "Call Of The Wild," but she tones it down a bit in "Secret," the afore mentioned singles, and "I Love You." Nancy, unfortunately, claims only two songs on the album - ("Stranded," and "I Want Your World To Turn") but they are two of the most attractive offerings.

"Brigade" may present a few moral distractions, but basically this album is fairly tame. Screeching guitars, synthesized vocals and pounding drum beats overwhelm this musical achievement and succeed in showing that Heart can rock with the best of them, even if time hasn't given their music any profound depth.n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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