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Heart, ‘Walkin’ Good’ – Song Review

Courtesy Sony/Legacy

Earlier this year, Ann Wilson told Billboard that Heart’s forthcoming album, ‘Fanatic,’ is “pretty rock heavy. There are only two ballads on it.”

That balance might seem a little surprising to long-time fans: “We have the heavy rock, and we also have the ‘Dog And Butterfly’ album concept,” Nancy Wilson told Ultimate Classic Rock in June, describing the electric-acoustic dichotomy that’s always made Heart’s music something special.

Still, it’s a mistake to consider ‘Walkin’ Good,’ one of the two ballads on ‘Fanatic,’ anything but powerful. An uplifting song about weathering change — and coming out stronger in the end — the song boasts a corkscrew acoustic guitar melody and pirouetting strings. A throaty flute part provided by Ann Wilson and buckling banjo from Ben Mink add further color.

The tune’s real weapon, however, are its lead vocals from Nancy Wilson and guest Sarah McLachlan. Their two voices mesh perfectly, striking the exact right mix of grit, sadness and determination.

The multi-part chorus harmonies by the Wilson sisters and McLachlan are even better. No individual voice stands out above the rest in the chorus as the trio sings, “Anyway, I’m OK / Day into night and night into day / Gone so far away from my home / Take the high road and damn the low.” The effect is formidable and empowering.

Nancy (rightfully) receives plenty of attention for her guitar skills, but her times in the vocal spotlight (‘These Dreams,’ ‘There’s The Girl’) are just as engaging.  The quietly dynamic ‘Walkin’ Good’ is no exception.

Listen to ‘Walkin’ Good’ by Heart

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