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08 October 2010 @ 09:30 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #97: Heart "Sand"  
Heart “Sand”

When I first received the new Heart record back in April I was psyched and ready for new music from one of my long-time favorites. “How Can I Refuse” in ’83 on MTV started the relationship, the Bad Animals album was a staple of my part-time paper route, and Brigade sealed the deal. They were #2 behind Rush for many many years. I wasn’t a fan of an era, I loved it all: from the folksy mysticism of Little Queen, the bluesy rock of Bebe Le Strange, the inconsistency of Private Audition, the pop rebirth in 1985; it was all good in my book as long as Ann was singing, Nancy was providing harmony and rhythm guitar work, and Howard Leese was bringing the six-string to life.

Well, Howard departed in the late ‘90s, but I still absolutely loved their last studio release Jupiter’s Darling. They’ve never put out a bad album. Well, until their latest, Red Velvet Car – or so I thought. Upon the first few listens I was not feeling anything from the album other than confusion. While I try not to compare a new release to the artists previous work I was perplexed by this record. There was very little in the way of guitar riffs, the choruses were almost non-existent (now I wasn’t looking for “Never” or “Even it Up”), and the songs didn’t seem to move anywhere. The album and I were at a standstill for weeks….and I tried very hard to find the secret door. Most other albums would not have made it past a few listens if I wasn’t digging it, but this was Heart! I had to work hard on finding that door. I think it was on the 11th or 12th listen that I finally started to make some headway with the track “Wheels.” Slowly the rest of the album revealed itself to me song by song.

“Sand” is the focus track for me right now though. Written by Ann & Nancy for the 1997 Lovemongers Whirligig record (an Ann & Nancy side project) they revitalized this moving track. It’s Ann & Nancy at their best…harmonies, the best acoustic guitarist around in Nancy, Ann’s tender and emotive vocal – it harkens back to “Dog & Butterfly” or “Love Alive” – did I mention those harmonies? And Nancy’s backing vocals “slipping through the glass…” just awesome – these girls went meant to sing together. It’s a classic, ‘70s Heart record with lots of heavy rock and a few softer tracks. This is the closer and a perfect cap to an awesome, yet coy, record.

I asked a distant star, I wonder where you are
The shadow at my door, A friend who is no more
I watched him go to the wind, I close my eyes
Goodbye, goodbye my friend

Friends and family, The branches of the tree
Sheltered in the rain, Telling me again
No matter how raindrops run, World will turn
Turn back to the sun

A trick of light upon our eyes
A trick of time upon our lives
Ancient songs cry out to you
Surely this sweet sand is slipping through

I watched him go to the wind, I close my eyes
Goodbye, goodbye my friend

A trick of light upon our eyes
A trick of time upon our lives
Ancient songs cry out to you
And surely this sweet sand is slipping through
Slipping through the glass of time
Surely this sweet sand will run on by and by
And while the days come down to you
You are just a traveler passing through

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