Review: Ann Wilson & Tripsitter Make Rock Emotive Again

Ann Wilson & Tripsitter
Another Door
4/5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

Ann Wilson, who rose to fame with her rock band Heart, which starred her six-string playing sister Nancy, takes her time before bringing her torrential voice to the forefront on her newest solo LP, Another Door, with her band Tripsitter. As a moody, almost tribal beat and guitar play, the listener’s ear is thirsty for her voice. Then…POW! She hits.

But Wilson is a pro. She doesn’t give it all with the first note or phrase. No, she is like her spiritual frontperson peer, Robert Plant, on his new songs with Alison Krauss. Like Plant, Wilson is subtle, somehow imbuing stoicism and wisdom in each brittle, spell-casting note. That is how the project’s first song, “Tripsitter,” opens.

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Wilson’s new album dropped on Friday (September 29) and the LP is all new original material, the first time she has written a new album with a band since the 1970s. The record’s second song, “This Is Now,” hearkens to a style of rock ‘n’ roll that isn’t often in the ether these days. Melodic, reflective, layered.

For those who say rock is dead—of course, it is not. But so much of that genre today is a power punch, a rocket to the moon. Where are the subtle, nuanced, even caressing tunes? Wilson and her band Tripistter haven’t forgotten that music can sound like this, too.

But all that isn’t to say that Wilson and her band aren’t capable of rocking the roof off. Case in point: “Rain of Hell,” on which listeners can hear Wilson at the peak of her abilities, showcasing the voice that won over millions of fans on Heart songs like “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You.”

As the remainder of the album unfolds, the feeling of listening to it is as much like going to a spiritual rock service presided over by Wilson. It’s as if she’s adorned in some ornate robes, a big shadow cast behind an altar. You are now worshiping at the feet of the rock gods. And Wilson knows how to channel them as well as anyone.

She’s worth hearing—no, worth admiring and absorbing. Note by glorious note.

Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

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