When Joan Jett was beamed on MTV chanting "I Love
Rock 'N' Roll" back in 1982 no one had envisioned that more
than twenty years later she would still be chanting that rally
cry and mean it with the same conviction she had in her youth.
When most of her peers have sold out or given up on rock 'n' roll,
Joan Jett is still pioneering rock music. She is not just a female
role model in rock 'n' roll, she is forging a younger generation
of promising rockers with her independent record label, Blackheart
Records, which has celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, whose current lineup includes
Thommy Price (drums), Dougie Needles (guitar), Enzo
Penzzotto (bass), and Kenny Laguna (keyboards), have
released their fifteenth studio album Sinners, produced
by Kenny Laguna and Ted Templeman. The album keeps punk/rock
relatable to a modern generation kicking off with the anthem rocker
"Riddles," which blatantly lambastes President George
Bush's administration for making policy without accountability
for the lives lost in the Iraqi War. The lyrical content on the
album touches on aspects of human conscientiousness from political
to personal, while the music takes aspects from country/folk to
melodic punk and incorporates them into rock's template. There
are influences of power punk in the rock tempos like on tracks
"Change The World" and "A.C.D.C." She also
adds some country/folk accents on the tune "Androgynous"
which is appealing with a Bowling For Soup style humor,
accepting peoples oddities and differences.
"Fetish" resonates with trembling drum rolls and feral
guitar riffs as Jett's vocal inflections take on a vamp's persona,
exuding complete confidence. She is the quintessential rock chick
in this number, whereas the rock ballad "Watersign"
brings out a softer side of Jett and tests her vocal prowess to
express vulnerability. The punk-tinged rattling rhythms on "Tube
Talkin'" are enhanced by the harmony vocals of Le Tigre's
Kathleen Hanna as the showers of scintillating synth-scapes
crisscross patches of flustering guitar chords with sheer feistiness.
There are lots of showy guitar riffs and head bopping rhythms
in these songs. Some heavy echoing rock tones shadow "Five"
while intervals of simmering guitar incisions baste "Baby
Blue," but the melodic rock number "Bad Time" is
the most developed with winding synth and guitar expressions that
entrap the listener in its festoon of lavish gales.
Sinner shows how Joan Jett has grown as a songwriter,
singer and musician, and how she still abides by the same rock
creeds she followed when she was fifteen years old and wrote "Cherry
Bomb" for her first band The Runaways. The steadfast
rock elements are there, but cast in modern molds so the songs
don't sound dated, but rather up to date. She still loves rock
'n' roll, but has introduced more complementing components into
rock 'n' roll than before with Sinners.
5. Everyone Knows
6. Change The World
10. Tube Talkin'
11. Turn It Around
12. Baby Blue
13. A 100 Feet Away
14. Bad Time
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