Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Unvarnished
Artist: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Label: Blackheart Records
The name Joan Jett is synonymous with the word Attitude and that’s fine, I guess. But too often, the words class, charm, and consistency are left out of the critical lexicon. While everyone knows who Joan Jett is, and most of us have at least one of her albums in our collection, she and her band (the Blackhearts) remain a mystery to most of us. Jett’s new album, Unvarnished, is packed with sharp hooks and shout along choruses. I was concerned when I read the pre release information on this offering. It promised a soul searching album with more adult themes. I feared that she was veering toward the middle of the road and in danger of going soft. No Damn WAY! Unvarnished comes out sneering, swaggering, rocking and does not let up. Jett is writes about what she knows and cares about and some of those themes reflect her maturity. In case you’ve forgotten, Joan Jett is the one of the architects of pop/punk/glam/rock. She is part of the American soundtrack. A consistent songwriter and performer who leaves keeps herself out of the tabloids but isn’t afraid to highlight the things that are important to her through her art. As Joan Jett herself says: “Anything and everything you want to know about me can be found in my songs”. More artists should adopt that philosophy. Unvarnished is the latest contribution from an artist who’s confident, competent, and above all, still compelling.
Stand out tracks: Any Weather, Soulmates to Strangers, Fragile, Make it Back