"Mindsets" (Blackheart Records; 2023)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Mindsets" is six track of classic Joan Jett and the Blackhearts sound. It's crunchy guitars, catchy melodies and lyrics about bad boys and girls who still have big hearts.

Track number one, "If You're a Blue," is a solid rocker that sets the tone for the remaining five tracks and is virtually impossible not to be singing along with by the time the track ends. "Whiskey Goes Good" is almost an old-school country song with clever lyrics about the elixir of life that is the slowest but perhaps the most fun track on the entire EP. The balance of the songs are the sturdy rock'n'roll anthems that Joan and crew have always been known for, ending with the appropriately entitled (Make the Music Go) Boom!"

Yeah, there's only six tracks here but it definitely leaves you wanting more. Which means this EP has done its job. It's the perfect reminder that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are still out there, and still rocking the world.

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"Sinner" (Blackheart Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Joan Jett returns with her trademark wall of guitar chords sound and a smart, sneering attitude to deliver fourteen tracks that will have you tapping your toes, pumping your fist and smiling knowingly as she sings about sex, politics and love.

You know Joan's fed up when she starts the CD with "Riddles," a scathing, anti-bullshit number that isn't afraid to point fingers. She keeps things moving by going right into a cover of Sweet's classic "A.C.D.C.," which takes on new meaning when performed by a female artist. And from then on it's more hard rocking tracks, a couple of soulful ballads and some experimental stuff ("Fetish" is enough to make anyone blush). There's not a dud in the bunch, although each track is soundly different than another. 

It took Joan a number of years to return to studio recording (unless you count "Naked," her previous international-only CD of two or three years ago, which contains some earlier versions of the songs that appear on "Sinner.") But it was worth the wait. Her superior songwriting, the talent of the Blackhearts and her unmistakable big guitar sound work as well today as when she was playing "I Love Rock'n'Roll" way back in the day.

The Blackhearts: Joan Jett - guitar and vocals; Thommy Price - drums; Dougie Needles - guitar; Enzo Penzzotto - bass; Kenny Laguna - keyboards.

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"I Love Rock'n'Roll" (Legacy; 1981)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a big Joan Jett fan since The Runaways. Unfortunately, at the time, it sounded like the world was not ready for an all girl rock band. Recently, I saw a Joan Jett Documentary/Rockumentary and it was very informative. One thing that I did not know is that she started her own recording company called Blackheart Records. That documentary is well worth the effort.

Well, I decided to listen to the classic 1981 release "I Love Rock'n'Roll." In a word, wow! Of course it has the title track and any rocker of a certain age turns the radio up and sings along to this cutóCome on, you know you do. This entire album is outstanding from start to finish. Including the super cool cover of Tommy James' "Crimson and Clover" along with the Christmas tune "Little Drummer Boy" (simply one of the best renditions of that song, ever).

This album is heavy rock with more than a dose of punk, just the way you want a Joan Jett recording to sound. There are some really cool deep cuts you never hear anymore ("(Iím Gonna) Run Away," "Love Is Pain," among others). This fucking band is awesome and still keeps rocking hard today!

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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