Album review: HEART & FRIENDS – Home For The Holidays

HEART & FRIENDS - Home for The Holidays

Frontiers [Release date 10.11.14]  www.frontiers.it

I am not normally a fan of these seasonal type efforts, particularly if they have been recorded in June, and even worse if it is somewhere warm and sunny like the Bahamas (a la most of the Seventies Christmas number ones!!); however, I am pleased to say that Heart’s new album “Home For The Holidays” was recorded last December live in their hometown of Seattle.

The “Friends” from the album’s title include Richard Marx, Sammy Hagar, Shawn Colvin and Train’s Pat Monahan and they join Heart on a collection of Christmas inspired tunes, and a couple of old favourites.

The first few songs feature just vocals and either strings, piano or an acoustic set up and on “The River” in particular you can hear exactly how breathless the vocal of the Wilson sisters are.

Part way through the proceedings we get a brand new poem entitled “Poem”, then we come to the duets with Sammy Hagar – “Love Is An Island” (from his own recent “& Friends” album) and “Santa’s Going South”, Richard Marx’s appearance on “All Through The Night”, Shawn Colvin on the piano-led “Rocking” and “Please Come Home For Christmas” featuring Pat Monahan.

Other highlights include Heart’s own “Barracuda”, “Even It Up” and a breathtaking ten minute rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”.With “Stairway” the band are accompanied by a full choir and perform the song the way they did for the 2012 Kennedy Centre Honours where they paid tribute to Zeppelin.

All in all, “Home for The Holidays” is a great Christmassy album and, whilst you may not want to play it while the family tuck in on the big day, I am sure it will make an appearance somewhere. ***1/2

Review by Nikk Gunns


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