.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4d249dfcc41f6a1099b2f48c17fb91c8e0533d63.jpg Notorious

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Notorious

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
October 18, 1995

Joan Jett knows the wisdom of the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Don't let the soft-focus Joan-as-mysterioso-fashion-model album cover fool you — Notorious is in no way a dilution of the Blackhearts' down-and-dirty formula. Okay, there are a couple of ballads, but for the most part Notorious is what we've come to expect from Jett and her boys: anthemic hard-rock ditties packed with gritty riffs, strong melodies and a touch of grunge, all topped off by Jett's wonderfully rasping voice. On most tracks she shares songwriting credit with a variety of collaborators, most notably Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, with whom she wrote "Backlash," a relaxed midtempo rocker. She's not shy about paying homage to old friends, either: "Treadin' Water," with its stomping, hand-clapping intro, nods and winks at Gary Glitter, one of her early heroes.

The album once again brings into sharp relief Jett's astuteness as an observer of the battle of the sexes. Her characters alternately are disgusted with male egotism ("'Machismo"), gleefully obsessed ("I Want You"), righteously pissed off ("The Only Good Thing [You Ever Said Was Goodbye]"), philosophical about the impermanence of romance ("Goodbye") and willing to compromise ("Lie to Me"). Though the Blackhearts' music is the power-pop equivalent of a steak-and-potatoes dinner, no one can call Jett and her band one dimensional. After more than a decade of guitar slinging, Jett has no need to justify her love of rock & roll. As Notorious proves, the affair continues to be fruitful.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com