Wil­son keeps Im­mor­tal tracks alive

The London Free Press - - MUSIC -

Ann Wil­son is one of rock’s im­mor­tal per­form­ers, hav­ing earned her spot among the great­est vo­cal­ists of all-time.

On Im­mor­tal, an al­bum of cov­ers, the Heart singer pays trib­ute to artists who have died or bands who have had a key mem­ber pass on.

The re­sult is an ex­cit­ing, eye-open­ing look at largely ob­scure songs by big-name artists.

It kicks off with Les­ley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, which ben­e­fits from Wil­son’s pas­sion­ate wail­ing and sub­tle phras­ing.

Au­dioslave’s I Am the High­way would feel right at home on most Heart al­bums, and she plucks Luna from the ex­ten­sive Tom Petty cat­a­logue in­stead of one of his more an­themic record­ings.

Un­for­tu­nately, Wil­son aban­doned this tac­tic in cov­er­ing the Ea­gles’ Life In the Fast Lane. But the re­sult is so draggy and list­less that it lit­er­ally be­comes a par­ody of it­self. (And there are scores of Ea­gles’ songs she could have picked to hon­our Glenn Frey, but Don Hen­ley sang this one.)

The true pay­off comes on Leonard Co­hen’s A Thou­sand Kisses Deep. Rarely has a song ben­e­fited from vo­cals so silky smooth and sen­sual, and yet they are only part of this woman’s vast vo­cal reper­toire.

A crunchy cover of Cream’s Politi­cian should keep the head­bangers happy, and David Bowie’s I’m Afraid of Amer­i­cans is just plain fun.

Ann Wil­son is best known as the lead singer and song­writer of the hard rock band Heart. Wil­son was listed as one of the Top Heavy Metal Vo­cal­ists of All Time by Hit Pa­rader magazine in 2006.

Ann Wil­sonIm­mor­tal (BMG)

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