* * * "BAD ANIMALS." Heart. Capitol. Ann Wilson of Heart is still the best female belter in rock. Her speciality is melodramatic rock ballads in which she wails--in anguish, defiance or triumph--about romantic entanglements.
Heart's new album--a strong follow-up to 1985's "Heart," which has sold over 5 million--is loaded with slow, savory, impassioned rockers, such as "Alone," "Strangers of the Heart" and "Wait for an Answer."
Though Wilson's vocals have become more fluid and sturdy, they're not quite as fiery as they used to be. In the last few years she's incorporated some pop elements into her style, purging some of the raunch and recklessness.
On the last two albums Heart, which also features Ann's guitarist/composer/singer sister Nancy, has moved farther away from its '70s sound, which was more standard hard-rock. The more recent songs are somewhat tamer and slicker, with a more pronounced pop and commercial orientation, sporting obvious hooks and catchy choruses.
This album is strictly for those who prefer their rock laced with lots of pop. There's not enough innovation or diversity in the material--and too much flagrant melodrama and low-brow pop--to satisfy more sophisticated tastes.