CD REVIEW: THE ANN WILSON THING! – #2 EP
12 August, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have always married acoustic folk and riffy rock with Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Famers Heart, and Ann’s solo thing – literally, The Ann Wilson Thing! – does the same, albeit with a bluesier and more soulful bent.
Like last year’s #1 EP, #2 features a couple of originals and a couple of covers, in this case the raucous Hendrix classic Manic Depression, and the similarly classic Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush duet Don’t Give Up. Recorded live, Wilson explains to her audience that she’s singing both parts of the song herself, and this tale of lovers desperate to hold on to the love they had which is now slipping out of reach, is delivered subtly and beautifully. It’s a tragic story in song, a plea for love which may be too late, and Wilson is one of the few singers with the power and emotion in her voice to make it her own.
Co-written with guitarist Craig Bartock, the originals shine, even in such esteemed company. Fighten Fer Life betrays Wilson’s folk roots, whilst Anguish starts off as a bone dry blues stomp a la her heroes Led Zeppelin’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine, before climactically building to a whispered roar with evocative keys and a rip snorting-yet-simple guitar solo.
Subtitled Focus, The Ann Wilson Thing!’s #2 EP is a darker offering than recent (or any) Heart album Beautiful Broken, but Wilson’s unforgettable vocals stage centre make the trip to the dark side worthwhile and an enjoyable one. Obviously relishing the freedom to indulge in her own ‘Thing,’ we can’t wait to hear what she cooks up for third course.
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