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Joan Jett And The Blackhearts
Blackheart Records

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.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Riddles
2. A.C.D.C
3. Five
4. Naked
5. Everyone Knows
6. Change The World
7. Androgynous
8. Fetish
9. Watersign
10. Tube Talkin'
11. Turn It Around
12. Baby Blue
13. A 100 Feet Away
14. Bad Time

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