Bad Animals


Capitol Records, 1987

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


In the mid '80s, Ann and Nancy Wilson did what many people thought was impossible - they resurrected their band Heart from obscurity and brought them to the top of the charts. A band that had been touring the "has-been" circuit was again in the forefront, with songs like "What About Love" and "These Dreams." For a time, it looked like nothing could spoil their success.

Just one album later, the bubble burst - 1987's my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Bad Animals is a weak attempt at recreating the magic that Heart captured on their previous self-titled album. Though there are one or two good songs on this one, the remainder is too keyboard-oriented.

Sure, there are two great songs on this album. "Who Will You Run To" is an okay rocker, but is not the best song of their career. However, the following song, "Alone," is an amazing track that I spent far too much time listening to after breaking up with one girlfriend. Ann Wilson's vocals have rarely been stronger, and even though the album relies far too much on keyboards, their use here is appropriate and moving.

Unfortunately, that ends the praise for the album. The guitar work of Howard Leese and Nancy Wilson is buried so far back in the mix for the rest of the album that one wonders if they were even in the same studio when their parts were recorded. "There's The Girl" could have been a decent track had the chorus not been dominated by a keyboard riff - boring, boring, boring. The same goes for "Wait For An Answer," a track which had some original promise but is electronically killed. (Maybe part of the problem is that Leese and Nancy Wilson played keyboards as well on this album - too bad they forgot about the guitar work.)

The remainder of Bad Animals is marred by weak songwriting as well as continued ignorance of a decent rhythm section. The title track is poorly conceived, and Ann Wilson's vocals sound far too melodramatic for the track - just because you know how to scream doesn't mean you constantly have to do so. "You Ain't So Tough" is another song that started off on the wrong foot and never recovered. By the time "RSVP" comes around, I had given up hope in the album.

Heart would recover from this embarassment to record Brigade, which almost took them to the top of the charts again. But at the time, Bad Animals seemed like a serious blow to their rebirth.

Rating: D+

User Rating: C



© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.