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Joan Jett – [Album]

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Friday, 08 August 2008

For her first album of new material since 1994’s Pure and Simple, Joan Jett has elected to go back to basics with Sinner. 'Back to basics,' in this case, means playing to the singer’s strengths: heavy handed guitar riffs and Jett’s own signature mezzo soprano growling vocals take stage center over The Blackhearts’ hard-driving rhythms that, this time, have a more distinctly pop edge than they have in over twenty years. Even with that said though, we’re not talking about senses-shattering alterations to the pattern here; rather, what makes this album unique for Jett is the growth she has experienced as a songwriter.

Jett has always had a gift for penning party-ready licks and lyrics but Sinner boasts this most politically minded of singers’ first political song in the form of “Riddles.” Having openly supported the Democrats in interviews and spoken the party’s praises on stage, Jett overtly calls out Republicans in “Riddles” (particularly George W. Bush – who’s voice does appear on the track) on their policies and laissez-faire approach to ethical conduct. Now, such outcry wouldn’t be considered groundbreaking in the current political climate except when you realize that Jett has always gone out of her way to keep her politics out of her music. Activism has always been separate from rock n’ roll for The Blackhearts but clearly not anymore as, with the Republican ripping “Riddles” as well as “Everyone Knows,” “Change The World” and (to a lesser degree) “Tube Talkin’,” Jett and the band place outcry against the Bush regime up front with admirable results. Each of those songs resonates with the unrest and dissatisfaction at both the Bush administration’s decisions during its reign but also looks at the general population of the United States and asks two questions: “How did we let it get this far?” and “What are we going to do about it?” Given that Jett has always asked similar questions of her audience on more private levels of other subjects before, these songs fit right in with the conventional fare of Sinner – they’re just set on a different topic.

Elsewhere, Jett dives into the come-ons of the leather and lace fetish culture and, including the two covers here (Sweet’s “A.C.D.C.” and The Replacements’ “Androgynous”) a sort of concept revolving around the body politic begins to emerge as “Five” and “Naked” crosswire notions of sexual empowerment with the need for change and freedom.

In the end, what Joan Jett has done with Sinner is internalize all of these different subjects of liberation and presented them all in one coherent statement about the human condition in the United States. As the singer sees it, everyone is, in some capacity, repressed and screaming to be set free. Be it a need for liberal government or a need for liberal thinking and personal liberation, Jett has framed it all in one portrait with Sinner.

For more information , go to http://www.joanjett.com and http://www.myspace.com/joanjettntheblackhearts

JOAN JETT – [ALBUM]

JOAN JETT – [ALBUM]

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Sunday, 10 December 2006
NEWS
ARTIST: Joan Jett – [Album]
DATE: 08-08-08
REVIEW BY: Bill Adams
ALBUM: Sinner
LABEL: Blackheart

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Now Playing: ‘Riddles’ from Sinner

For her first album of new material since 1994’s Pure and Simple, Joan Jett has elected to go back to basics with Sinner. ‘Back to basics,’ in this case, means playing to the singer’s strengths: heavy handed guitar riffs and Jett’s own signature mezzo soprano growling vocals take stage center over The Blackhearts’ hard-driving rhythms that, this time, have a more distinctly pop edge than they have in over twenty years. Even with that said though, we’re not talking about senses-shattering alterations to the pattern here; rather, what makes this album unique for Jett is the growth she has experienced as a songwriter.

Jett has always had a gift for penning party-ready licks and lyrics but Sinner boasts this most politically minded of singers’ first political song in the form of “Riddles.” Having openly supported the Democrats in interviews and spoken the party’s praises on stage, Jett overtly calls out Republicans in “Riddles” (particularly George W. Bush – who’s voice does appear on the track) on their policies and laissez-faire approach to ethical conduct. Now, such outcry wouldn’t be considered groundbreaking in the current political climate except when you realize that Jett has always gone out of her way to keep her politics out of her music. Activism has always been separate from rock n’ roll for The Blackhearts but clearly not anymore as, with the Republican ripping “Riddles” as well as “Everyone Knows,” “Change The World” and (to a lesser degree) “Tube Talkin’,” Jett and the band place outcry against the Bush regime up front with admirable results. Each of those songs resonates with the unrest and dissatisfaction at both the Bush administration’s decisions during its reign but also looks at the general population of the United States and asks two questions: “How did we let it get this far?” and “What are we going to do about it?” Given that Jett has always asked similar questions of her audience on more private levels of other subjects before, these songs fit right in with the conventional fare of Sinner – they’re just set on a different topic.

Elsewhere, Jett dives into the come-ons of the leather and lace fetish culture and, including the two covers here (Sweet’s “A.C.D.C.” and The Replacements’ “Androgynous”) a sort of concept revolving around the body politic begins to emerge as “Five” and “Naked” crosswire notions of sexual empowerment with the need for change and freedom.

In the end, what Joan Jett has done with Sinner is internalize all of these different subjects of liberation and presented them all in one coherent statement about the human condition in the United States. As the singer sees it, everyone is, in some capacity, repressed and screaming to be set free. Be it a need for liberal government or a need for liberal thinking and personal liberation, Jett has framed it all in one portrait with Sinner.

For more information , go to http://www.joanjett.com andhttp://www.myspace.com/joanjettntheblackhearts

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