Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Unvarnished (2013)

I hadn't given Joan Jett much thought in a number of years, to be honest, until I saw her on a session of Guitar Center Sessions.  The show tends to be uneven in terms of band performances, but this was one where your instinct afterwards was to immediately drive to a music store and buy everything she's ever done.

The highlight was the song "Any Weather," which I couldn't believe I had missed over the years -- when in the 80s did this come out?  Nope, it turns out that this was the lead track on her new album, with her legendary backing band The Blackhearts, no less.

I don't think it's an incorrect or gender-insensitive to say this:  Joan Jett is still the man.

This is quite simply, a great, classic rock album.  It's not a throwback, it's timeless.  It's got an edge and an intensity that is surprising after all these years.  It's classic Joan Jett, and that is a damn good thing.

Joan Jett - "Any Weather"
(I prefer the version linked above but YouTube won't let me link to it.  Bastards.)

A surprise comeback, a welcome return, a fresh and brutally honest set, and a mature rock record that doesn't sound old.  She just kills it from start to finish, and I love it.

CD Placement rating: Car iPod.

- Snilch

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