Heart – Red Velvet Car (2010, Sony Music/Legacy Recordings)
1. “There You Go” … 3:36
2. “WTF” … 3:26
3. “Red Velvet Car” … 2:59
4. “Queen City” … 4:16
5. “Hey You” … 4:13
6. “Wheels” … 3:06
7. “Safronia’s Mark” … 4:03
8. “Death Valley” … 3:55
9. “Sunflower” … 3:42
10. “Sand” … 4:07
Ann Wilson – Lead Vocals, Flute, Backing Vocals
Nancy Wilson – Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Mandolin, Autoharp, Dobro
Ric Markmann – Bass
Ben Smith – Drums, Percussion
Ben Mink – Guitar, Gypsy Fiddle, Viola, Lap Steel, Backing Vocals
Craig Bartock – Dobro
Producer: Ben Mink
Really missed the boat on this one last year when it was released. I liked “WTF” a lot but many reviews I read about this album said it was mellow and laid-back so I made it a low priority and then eventually forgot about it. Thankfully, seeing Heart perform with Def Leppard recently has reignited my interest in the band. Along with buying a few of their older albums, I also wanted to hear what Heart sounds like today and was able to pick this one up pretty cheap.
I was also under the impression that a good portion of this album featured some re-recordings, another reason I was turned off from this album. Turns out I was wrong. All but “Sand” are brand new. That song originally appeared on the Wilson sisters’ Lovemongers side-project album Whirlygig in 1997.
I gotta say Red Velvet Car stands strong as a worthy chapter in the band’s history. So many of these songs sound like classic (1970s) Heart. “WTF” is right up there as one of my favorite Heart songs and while “There You Go” is a bit too mid-tempo to kick off an album, I think, it too fits the “classic Heart” mold. So the album is a bit laid back but that’s not really unexpected from Heart. They’ve always had a folksy vibe and have never shied away from acoustic-based rock and both are apparent here. Oh, and the Zeppelin influence is still here as well. Just listen to “Wheels” and “Death Valley”.
It’s not so much that the songs are slow (well, except for “Sand”), most are mid-tempo, they just aren’t heavy. There’s no “Magic Man”, “Crazy On You”, “Straight On” or “Barracuda” but that’s okay because a good song is a good song. The Wilson sisters are accomplished singers, musicians and songwriters. They know how to write great songs whether they rock hard or not. Rolling Stone compared the mellow vibe to that of Dog & Butterfly and I have to agree. I think any fan of that album would enjoy Red Velvet Car a lot. In fact, any fan of ’70s Heart will enjoy this album.
Better late than never that I picked this one up. One of the better albums from 2010.
Highlights: “There You Go”, “WTF”, “Queen City”, “Hey You”, “Wheels”, “Death Valley”