Title - 'Blue Hearts'
Artist - Bob Mould
For those unaware, in the winter of 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era's despair with his most melodic, upbeat album in ages, Sunshine Rock.
Cut to spring of 2020, and he has this to say: "We're really in deep shit now!"
That sentiment informs the new full-length album, Blue Hearts (due out September 25th, 2020 via Merge Records), the raging-but-catchy yin to Sunshine Rock's yang.
Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Beau Sorenson engineering and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould's past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day.
In truth, Blue Hearts is perhaps the most directly confrontational work of Bob Mould’s four-decade career, a raging 14-track collection described by its creator as “the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting.”
Produced by Mould at Chicago’s famed Electrical Audio with longtime collaborator Beau Sorenson engineering, the album – which once again features backing from the crack rhythm section of drummer Jon Wurster and bassist Jason Narducy – nods to the veteran singer-songwriter’s groundbreaking past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day.
1. 'Heart on My Sleeve' (1:58)
2. 'Next Generation' (2:21)
3. 'American Crisis' (2:29)
4. 'Fireball' (1:40)
5. 'Forecast of Rain' (2:27)
6. 'When You Left' (2:33)
7. 'Siberian Butterfly' (2:10)
8. 'Everyth!ng to You' (2:51)
9. 'Racing to the End' (1:52)
10. 'Baby Needs a Cookie' (2:58)
11. 'Little Pieces' (2:37)
12. 'Leather Dreams' (2:53)
13. 'Password to My Soul' (2:54)
14. 'The Ocean' (3:56)
Having already enjoyed a career that has spanned decades, from his pioneering early ’80s work with Hüsker Dü to his solo work in singer-songwriter, electronic, and rock modes, to the deafening pop sparkle of Sugar, opening with the acoustic guitar and vocal magnificence of 'Heart on My Sleeve,' it's obvious that Mould has lost none of his musical verve and passion.
That's followed by the crashingly frenetic duo of 'Next Generation' and 'American Crisis,' which in turn are backed by the late '70s punk energy of the short, but sweet 'Fireball,' the melodic rocker 'Forecast of Rain,' and then both the bitter guitar angst of 'When You Left' and the raw tidal surge of the Green Day-esque 'Siberian Butterfly.'
Next up is the profoundly earnest 'Everyth!ng to You' which is backed by the frenzied 'Racing to the End,' the drum-led, mid-tempo rocker 'Baby Needs a Cookie,' then we get the gaudily frantic beats of 'Little Pieces,' with the album rounding out on the free flowing hipsway of 'Leather Dreams,' the jangling guitars of 'Password to My Soul,' closing out on the, at first, low key, earnest guitar ballad that latterly turns into a distorted guitar onslaught, 'The Ocean.'
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