Album of the Week

Album of the Week: Joanne Shaw Taylor

In-depth on Joanne Shaw Taylor's bluesy sixth album, Reckless Heart.

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British blues rock singer and guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor returns with her sixth studio album, Reckless Heart, the anticipated follow-up to 2016’s Wild.

Discovered at the age of 16 by producer and one half of ’80s pop icons Eurythmics, Dave Stewart, Joanne firmly shakes off her “new face of blues” tag, once again proving she’s well and truly here to stay.

The rising star’s first new album since signing to Silvertone/Sony sees her return to her roots. Produced by Al Sutton – famed for working with Kid Rock, Greta Van Fleet and more – the album was recorded last summer at Rust Belt Studios in Michigan.

The toe-tapping In the Mood opens the record with layers of rocking guitars, jazz piano and her unique raspy vocal, plus a killer rock’n’roll guitar solo. The eponymous Reckless Heart plays like a pulsating heartbeat with heavy bass chords, while The Best Thing features her characteristic soulful delivery of impassioned lyrics.

With its fast-paced upbeat melody, Bad Love ups the ante before she slows down for tender ballads I’m Only Lonely and I’ve Been Loving You, both raw and emotive.

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Bad Love (Official Video)

The release jumps between driving rock and soulful ballads. Full of personal experiences, Taylor falls in and out and back in love again, processing everything across 11 tracks.

Ultimate ear-worm, Break My Heart Anyway is a folk-pop triumph while Creepin’ riffs off the styles of some of her inspirations, like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix. It has an air of Led Zeppelin’s Misty Mountain Hop or Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return).

All My Love like In the Mood is a catchy mix of jangly blues guitar and melodic tinkering of piano keys.

Over the last 10 years Taylor’s released six albums: White Sugar (2009) , Diamonds in the Dirt (2010), Almost Always Never (2012), The Dirty Truth (2014), Wild (2016), and 2019’s Reckless Heart. Across the catalogue, her inspirations from bands like Free, Slade and more consistently underpin her writing.

For the past decade, she’s split her time between the UK and Detroit, but recorded her fifth album Wild in Nashville with famed Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Journey), whose credits also include Rush, Led Zeppelin and Joe Bonamassa.

While her music sometimes offers heaps of ’70s nostalgia, Taylor also effortlessly embodies all the elements of modern blues.

Hitting the road to celebrate Reckless Heart, Joanne’s tour starts tonight in Liverpool – catch her around the UK until the end of March. [Find Tickets]

1. In the Mood
2. All My Love
3. The Best Thing
4. Bad Love
5. Creepin’
6.I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
7.Reckless Heart
8. Break My Heart Anyway
9. New 89
10. Jake’s Boogie
11. I’m Only Lonely

Listen to Reckless Heart on Spotify: