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Heart, ‘Fanatic’ – Song Review

Heart - Fanatic
Courtesy Sony/Legacy

Anyone disappointed with the softer tone of ‘Walkin’ Good’–the first single from Heart‘s upcoming album, ‘Fanatic’ — will be thrilled with the album’s title track. A vaguely psychedelic rocker with bubbling-oil riffs and smoldering lead vocals from Ann Wilson, ‘Fanatic’ slithers rather than simply grooves.

Like most of Heart’s best work, the song isn’t quite aligned with convention or prevailing trends.

Nancy Wilson and Ben Mink’s shuddering, sustained guitars cut to the quick — you can almost picture shimmering heat waves coming off the instruments — while Ann marshals her powerful voice into a compact, twangy performance. (Think the jagged, raw sound U2 cultivated on ‘Achtung Baby.’)

The lyrics of the song are like a fever dream, phrases strung together to signify conflicting emotions and desires. “I can’t stop crying, I can’t stop screaming / I can’t stop talking / I can’t stop dreaming,” Ann sings.

But the ending of the song — “I gotta have it, I gotta use it / I gotta own it / And never lose it” — hints at the song’s true meaning: grasping on to passion — through thick and thin, and whether it’s rational or not — simply because you love something so intensely.

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