HEART — Desire Walks On (review)

HEART — Desire Walks On album cover Album · 1993 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sabbath
The best thing about Heart in my opinion is their Zeppelin-esque ability to switch between acoustic folk and hard rock that sometimes crosses the metal barrier without being unmelodic. On Desire Walks On they succeed more often than not, and create a bridge from the overly commercial hair metal sound of their previous three albums back to the more classic sound that made them famous.

The best moments on Desire Walks On start early; the opening track Black on Black II attempts to take an early Lisa Dalbello cover and reimagine it as a metal piledriver with great success. This track is not only the best on the album, but one of the best aggressive hard rock tunes the band performed during their Capitol Records years. Back to Avalon and My Crazy Head are great tunes as well, merging the band's electric and acoustic sounds in the vein of Crazy On You. A couple of other tunes, Rage and a cover of Bob Dylan's Ring Them Bells (with Layne Staley from Alice in Chains making an appearance) make this album a worthwhile listen.

Where the album falls short is in the ballads: The Woman In Me and Anything is Possible are both pedestrian sounding melodies with overly cliche'd lyrics that don't work. Even worse is the Mutt Lange-penned Will You Be There (In the Morning) which hit the Top 40 but is so overly commercial sounding than any one of a hundred different bands could have recorded it.

While this album didn't have a huge number of hits, Will You Be There (In the Morning) hit the pop Top 40 and Black on Black II was a Top 5 Album Rock chart hit and garnered heavy airplay on hard rock and metal stations.

Overall Desire Walks On is a welcome return from Heart's overly commerical 80s material to the darker, heavier, and more authentic sound of their early albums. It's not perfect, but it was well received by critics and those Heart fans who felt alienated by the band's hair metal years.
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Unitron wrote:
46 days ago
Nice to see some Heart reviews. Don't remember much about this album, but Rage is definitely one of their best post-classic era songs.

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