One for the road
Get ready to cruise down the highway with your windows down and crank the volume up to this beautiful soft rock album. Nancy Wilson launches her solo career with the debut You and Me, a 12-track album that exquisitely showcases Wilson’s incredible musical and vocal range. Wilson is well-known as the guitarist in the rock band Heart. She joined Heart alongside her older sister, Ann Wilson, and they became the first frontwomen in a hard rock band. Most will recognize Wilson and Heart for their hit single “Barracuda,” which was featured in the legendary Guitar Hero gaming franchise.
Wilson’s distinct and impressive guitar mix of flamenco, classical guitar and hard rock landed her in Gibson’s Top 10 female guitarists of all time. Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Heart, yet she continues to expand her music career with other projects such as Roadcase Royale and now a solo career. The album begins with a literal slow start with the title track “You and Me.” The angelic acoustic guitar and maracas meet Wilson’s husky yet soothing voice to create a close lullaby. This song is a soulful touch as it is dedicated to her mother.
The first cover off the album is a near replica of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” You and Me feature a surprise cover of Pearl Jam’s “Daughter.” Wilson’s take is in complete contrast to Pearl Jam’s original track, as her voice adds a different quality that completely remakes this song as if it were one of her own, a livelier interpretation—sorry Pearl Jam. This chilling cover will have people in awe, particularly when Wilson shouts the lyrics “she will rise above.”
The catchy and high-energy rock and roll track “Party at the Angel Ballroom” features Guns N’ Roses’ bassist Duff McKagan and Foo Fighters famed drummer Taylor Hawkins. Wilson channels a Joan Jett performance in this bad-ass jam. The track kicks off with Hawkins rhythmic drums and a scream from Wilson. This track will have listeners singing, dancing and partying all night long, especially with the incredible guitar solo in the last minute of the track.
Wilson dabbles with a country-like sound as well with a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” featuring Sammy Hagar. This track is a very passionate heartland rock song that showcases Wilson’s musical range. Another passionate track is “The Dragon,” which was originally written by Wilson for Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley as he was battling his drug addiction.
Wilson is not so successful with the cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” alongside Liv Warfield, cofounder of Roadcase Royale. Wilson’s and Warfield’s vocals appear to be colliding instead of harmonizing, which makes the track flop. On another note, the album closes with a heartwarming tribute to Eddie Van Halen with a soulful guitar track titled “4 Edward.”
You and Me is fit for a drama television series as Wilson sings every lyric with immense passion and includes soulful touches. This album is perfect to listen to during a long drive to keep people jamming and will have listeners moving in their seat. Wilson has gifted fans a fun experience to listen to since the album features tons of surprises and incredible performances from other rock legends.