Ann Wilson : Hope & Glory

Ann Wilson : Hope & Glory

  • $12.98

Ann Wilson is one of the best known voices in rock, having fronted the legendary band Heart since the mid-'70s. With hits like "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda," Heart was one of the most popular bands of the album rock era. In the '80s Heart found even greater success with monster MTV and radio hits such as "Alone" and "Never." Hope & Glory is Ann Wilson's first-ever solo album and includes guest appearances from luminaries Elton John, Deana Carter, Shawn Colvin, Alison Krauss, k.d. lang, Rufus Wainwright, Gretchen Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and Wynonna on a variety of classic covers selected for their insight into important current social issues, including Elton John's "Where to Now St. Peter?," Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," and Neil Young's "War of Man." Produced by Ben Mink (k.d. lang, Feist, Barenaked Ladies).
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Eight years after her sister, Nancy, released her own solo album, the all-acoustic Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop, Heart's lead singer Ann Wilson takes a center-stage bow with Hope & Glory, a collection of social-commentary, message, and protest songs. Mostly covers from the '60s and '70s fleshed out with her own affecting "Little Problems, Little Lies" (told from the point of view of a dying soldier in the Iraq war), the album also happens to be duets with megawatt rock, country, and folk luminaries. Released, appropriately, on September 11, Hope & Glory--produced by Ben Mink (k.d. lang, Feist)--isn't a political treatise so much as an artful account of the suffering and devastation that all war and economic downturn brings. Yet several of the songs are so bombastic (particularly Elton John's "Where to Now St. Peter," with Sir Elton himself in attendance) as to suggest, well, if not the Apocalypse, certainly Doomsday. (Check out Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky," one of three songs on which the sisters Wilson harmonize). Not all the material keeps the focus on Wilson and friends, mostly because the tunes are so intrinsically identified with the original artist (John Lennon's "Isolation," Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," where Rufus Wainwright and Shawn Colvin seem misused and out of place). And though it was always easy to draw a stylistic straight line from Led Zeppelin to Heart, Wilson's treatment of the former's "Immigrant Song" comes across as heavy-handed. She fares much better covering two other bands, the hippiefied Youngbloods (the chilling "Darkness, Darkness" and "Get Together") and the Animals ("We Gotta Get Out of This Place," on which Wilson and Nashville's Wynonna unite for a Joplinesque rave-up). The hard-singing Wilson strikes yin-yang perfection with both k.d. lang (on Lucinda Williams's "Jackson") and the pillow-voiced Alison Krauss (Neil Young's "War of Man"), even as her collaboration with Gretchen Wilson, "Bad Moon Rising," reduces the CCR classic to near buffoonery with a dominant hoedown fiddle. Hope & Glory is an uneven effort, and with its pervasive downer vibe, certainly a misnamed one. --Alanna Nash

1. [3:12] Goodbye Blue Sky [feat. Nancy Wilson]
2. [4:38] Where To Now St. Peter? [feat. Elton John]
3. [3:36] Jackson [feat. k.d. lang]
4. [3:45] We Gotta Get Out Of This Place [feat. Wynonna]
5. [3:43] Immigrant Song
6. [4:37] Darkness, Darkness [feat. Nancy Wilson]
7. [3:15] Bad Moon Rising [feat. Gretchen Wilson]
8. [4:38] War Of Man [feat. Alison Krauss]
9. [4:03] Get Together [feat. Deana Carter]
10. [3:02] Isolation
11. [6:14] A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall [feat. Rufus Wainwright]
12. [3:31] Little Problems, Little Lies

Product UPC: 601143108525

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