, , , ,

Top Ten Favorite Albums of the Last Two Years: #8 Unvarnished by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Joan Jett was originally in the music group called the Runaways before she headed out on her own solo career. She made several great albums during the 1980s that were down to earth hard rock and an interesting contrast to all of the out of this world metal and new wave music flying around at the time. It’s been a while since Joan Jett last made an album and she’s gone through tough things in the last ten years such as losing both of her parents. For somebody who is as oriented as Joan Jett is family, this came as a huge blow to her. She even made a song about the tough times she had to go through on this album. This album is not only a brave, rocking, determined, confident album but also shows a more sensitive side of the wild woman named Joan Jett.

Despite all the tough times she has gone through, though, Joan Jett makes it clear right away with Any Weather that she will keep on rocking. She really stands out for people who don’t really fit into any clicks, which makes her appealing to all of the misfits. It’s a call to arms that people of different kinds should stick together against the sometimes cruel world with the chorus of “We’ll stay together/ Through any weather.”

TMI has some punk groove to it while Soulmates To Strangers shows the more sensitive side of Joan Jett with its meaning being about a break up. Make It Back is quite the rocker and has a nice juvenile sound to it. Hard To Grow Up is yet another song on the album that talks about how sometimes times can be tough. Fragile is an inflective song about herself. The album really is full of good strong rock and roll that points out the weakness we face but continue on anyway.

Reality Mentality is down to earth, which is the way Joan Jett has always been, real, genuine and comfortable with herself, which is one of the reasons why I like her so much. Bad As We Can Be is your typical punk rock song about walking on the wild side and getting into trouble. Different embraces the quirkinesses we have. The final original song on the album is actually the softest song on the album because it has acoustic guitar. If you get the extended album it also comes with four extra songs, which are all live songs that Joan Jett has already made such as her classics, Cherry Bomb from the Runaways, Bad Reputation and I Hate Myself For Loving You. It also features a live version of one of her newest songs, TMI.

This album is not striving to be mature, which would make this album drab and bleak, but instead shows a different kind of maturity, the kind of maturity that comes from being knocked around in life, realizing it is O.K. and helping others through their tough times as well. Joan Jett has always rocked for the outsider but never before I think has an album by Joan Jett been so incredibly poignant and honest about herself and what she goes through, which leads to this album being incredibly powerful.