Title - Fierce Bliss
Artist - Ann Wilson
Every so often, an album will come along that you know you will love without even hearing a note, based solely on who the artist is. So it is with Ann Wilson and her most recent release, Fierce Bliss.
I make no secret that Heart, Wilson’s on-again-off-again band, is my favorite all female rock outfit of all time, and Fierce Bliss serves as a beautiful reminder as to why.
Produced by Wilson and Tom Bukovac and featuring an array of guest musicians and artists, Fierce Bliss is Wilson’s third full-length solo album and is a beautiful mix of original material and cover songs that are collectively enough to make the listener wish that there were eleven tracks more once the final notes fade out.
2. Black Wing
3. Bridge of Sighs
4. Fighten for Life
5. Love of My Life (ft. Vince Gill)
6. Missionary Man
7. Forget Her
8. A Moment in Time
9. Angel’s Blues
10. As the World Turns
From the outset, Wilson has a statement to make with Greed, a hard-rocking number all about the pitfalls of avarice.
The song subconsciously nudges other artists, from Meredith Brook’s ‘Bitch’ with a descriptive list of things the singer is (“I’m an angel, I’m a lush / I want nothing, I want too much…”) to a guitar riff slightly reminiscent of a song by Kansas, and more lyrics decrying such a sin similar to George Harrison’s ‘Devil’s Radio’: “Greed is empty, greed is lonely / Constant craving, for one thing only / Greed is guilty, greed is fakin’ / Unforgiving and always taking…”
And yet, it is all distinctly Ann, with her distinctive belt soaring high above everything else.
Make no mistake, Wilson’s voice is a bit aged compared to a lot of the Heart’s Greatest Hits that listeners may be tempted to compare it with, but there’s a strength inside the slight huskiness, a sort of richness that beckons closer, waiting to put any doubt about quality completely to rest.
The backing band on the record is something of a revolving door of musicians, but most take notable turns, particularly Warren Haynes (guitar) and Matt Abst (drums) as they blend together to make the mellowest of jams on Angel’s Blues.
Vince Gill joins in on the Soul Stirring Love of my Live, a cover of Brian May’s song of the same name. This track, especially, showcases the warmth present in Wilson’s voice as the plaintive melodies unfold. She really can do it all.
Fierce Bliss is the name of the record, and it fits. Fierce is what Ann Wilson is. She is a powerhouse, exuding strength and vulnerability when each track calls for it. Bliss is what you experience when listening — the whole time. Every time.
Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte
Ann Wilson’s Fierce Bliss will be available for purchase or streaming on April 29th, 2022.
Follow Ann Wilson on social media:
Official Ann Wilson Website
Ann Wilson @ Facebook
Ann Wilson @ Instagram
Ann Wilson @ Twitter
Ann Wilson @ YouTube
Catch Ann Wilson on tour (more cities to be added):
DATE CITY VENUE
Wed 5/4 San Francisco, CA Great American
Thu 5/5 Napa, CA The Uptown Theatre
Sat 5/7 Pala, CA Pala Casino
Mon 5/9 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
Tue 5/10 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
Fri 5/13 Toronto, ONT. Scotiabank Arena (with Journey)
Mon 5/16 Quebec City, QUE. Videotron Centre (with Journey)
Sat 6/11 Peachtree City, GA Fred Amphitheater
Mon 6/13 Nashville, TN Basement East
Tue 6/14 Nashville, TN Basement East
Thu 6/16 Tampa, FL Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Fri 6/17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Parker
Sat 7/30 Floyd, VA FloydFest22 Heartbeat