Written by Garreth Franklin
This album is just achingly beautiful – from the lyrics to the sublime guitars to the vocals. Oh, the vocals. It has always astounded me that the Wilson sisters were never included in a list of “awesome female singers” – it’s always been Joan Jett, Siouxsie Sioux, and the likes. This album cements the fact, in my head at least, that Ann and Nancy are potentially the greatest female rock singers of all time.
The melodies that they’re able to manage – you’d almost think it was just Nancy or just Ann singing, so well do the voices go together. But then, I guess that’s the least you’d expect from a band that’s been going for over 40 years. The fact that they’re sisters probably doesn’t hurt either.
I had initially planned on writing a brief write-up for each song – but no matter how many times I listen to the album; I just can’t quite put into words just how wonderful it is. As each song begins, my fingers are ready on the keyboard – ready to type out my gut feelings about each one. And as each song continues, I look at the screen to discover I haven’t actually typed anything.
This is the first album that I’ve ever truly got ‘lost’ in. There have been others I’ve listened to before that make me sit up and take notice. This is much subtler. This is more a ‘lie back, relax – we’ve got this covered’ type album.
What this does mean, however, is that the review is considerably shorter than I thought it was going to be. I had planned a multi-paragraph, in-depth analysis of the album as a whole. That went out the window shortly after Beautiful Broken began. Never has a song title (or album title) been quite so appropriate.
If I have to have one (very) slight criticism, it’s precisely the fact that you can get so lost listening to this. I’m not sure I’d have it on in the car for a long drive – I’d end up missing my turn off and miles away from where I wanted to be. Still, if it meant I got longer to listen to this masterpiece, then I guess that’s not such a bad thing after all…
By the way, if you’re wondering where you recognize the guest vocals from in the title track, they’d be none other than James Hetfield himself. Yup, him off of Metallica.