Friday, 15 March 2019

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Reckless Heart (2019)


Released March 2019

Joanne Shaw Taylor’s output is usually steeped in blues rock. This album, however, is far more pure rock in nature. It is crammed full of sledgehammer drums, rocking guitar riffs and Joanne showing just how her remarkable voice can really rock. It is a most enjoyable album from a very talented, underrated artist.


1. In The Mood
2. All My Love
3. The Best Thing
4. Bad Love
5. Creepin'
6. I've Been Loving You Too Long
7. Reckless Heart
8. Break My Heart Anyway
9. New 89
10. Jake's Boogie
11. I'm Only Lonely                                                

“In The Mood” is a superb, pounding bar-room guitar-driven rocker to open the album with that doesn’t let up from beginning to end, with Joanne’s voice in magnificent form. "All My Love" has an infectious, slightly funky bass line and it is a more rhythmic number than the previous all-out rocker. The guitar solo just slashes through the atmosphere, though. Despite that, however, there is a fair amount of soul on this one.

“The Best Thing” is just wonderful. Joanne’s voice is once more incredibly soulful on this one. So unique yet at the same time really reminds me me of someone but I can’t put my finger on who, which is frustrating. Either way, she is great in her own right on this. Actually, maybe it’s Grace Potter. “Bad Love” is powerful, riffy and with a sumptuous organ backing too. The pace is so strong and solid on tracks like this. Proper rock. "Creepin'" is a slow-paced. muscular bluesy rock number. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is even more laid-back, in its pace, anyway. The sound is still full and strong, with an impressive guitar intro before Joanne's smoky voice arrives, seductively.

The title track is a throaty, husky slow burner. “Break My Heart Anyway” is a relatively quieter, slower pace, acoustic-backed ballad. "New 89" has some catchy guitar backing and another appealing, gritty vocal. "Jake's Boogie" is not, as you might imagine a bit of piano-driven bar-room rock, but a bluesy, acoustic guitar-powered somewhat understated song with a bit of a slurred vocal from Joanne, which is unusual. It does grow on you, though, and provides a change from the full-on rock of the rest of the album. Strangely enough, after such an upbeat, powerful album, the final track, "I'm Only Lonely" is also a slowie, being a sleepy rock ballad. It has some sumptuous guitar/bass interplay near the end. Apart from these two tracks the album does not vary much, being pretty relentless. Therein lies its strength - you know what to expect. None of the tracks particularly stick in the mind, but, listened to as a whole, the album has an energetic, no nonsense and soulful vibe to it. As I said earlier, for me, it is not as bluesy as her other albums, but it is not without its rocky appeal.


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