Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Mindsets art

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Mindsets (EP Review)

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts 2023 band

A shadowed figure jumps on stage brandishing a guitar as if it were a bionic extension of her arm. Who is this person that draws the attention of the crowd with her raw magnetism and charisma, fitted in a pair of skintight black leather pants, biker boots, tank top and an unmistakable shag cut? This is none other than Joan Jet. The Queen of Rock, Joan Jett has been in the Rock-n-Roll game for nearly five decades now and accomplished a great deal along the way. A founding member of The Runaway, Jett would go on to create another exciting band as well… Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Looking back, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts musical journey through the decades has been nothing short of spectacular as the band single handedly took the Rock-n-Roll music scene by storm with punchy lyrics and a distinct ass-kicking rhythmic style. A story that lifted off with the 1981 album I Love Rock ‘n Roll, fast forward over forty years later, the release of 2022’s Changeup ignited an enthusiastic reception. Coming at a pivotal time, during rampant societal and political crisis, Changeup also happens to be the first acoustic album ever recorded by the band. Featuring all-time favorites such as 1980’s “Bad Reputation” and 1983’s cover of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover,” the band’s popularity soared skyward well into the digital age as the string of accolades that trails behind them attest.

Now a little over a year later, the band return with the surprise EP Mindsets. Written primarily by Joan Jett and Guitarist Dougie Needles, joining them are the rest of the current Blackhearts lineup on the recording; Bassist Hal B. Selzer, Keyboardist Kenny Laguna, and Drummer Michael McDermott. Released by the Blackheart Records label on June 2nd, and offers fans a mystical audible experience, Jett, Laguna, and Thom Panunzio produced the new set, along with Executive production of Carianne Brinkman. 

Six new, original songs in total, the lyrical content of the EP is the simple adaptation of a positive and with a steely mindset you can potentially overcome any hardship or obstacle one encounters in life. Jett, truly a master of transmuting music into poignant emotion, skillfully weaves lyrics and rhythm beats together with Mindsets that arouse visceral emotion.

Looking at it all, “If You’re Blue” will have strong appeal to those in the grip of sadness. We all go through it at one time or another and Jett reminds us that we are not alone in this feeling. Featuring a drumbeat intro, it is surprisingly energetic and lively! This is while “Whiskey Goes Good,” written by Needles, has a slower tempo that gives off camaraderie vibes; reminding you of a karaoke bar song matched with melancholy guitar solo and a muted drumbeat.

Then there is the bouncy, electric guitar charged “(Make the Music Go) Boom” fit with funky guitar riffs, and the adrenaline filled “Shooting into Space” with throaty growl vocals. Which lead to the finale – “Rear View Mirror” and “Before the Dawn” – which share an accelerating temperature that is scorching hot.

Beaming with confidence on each of these songs, Joan Jett proves she is still firing on all cylinders. Rocking hard, she continues to push through boundaries in the music world, and yes, maintains her status as the Queen of Rock. Now wrapping up 2023, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are prepared to return in 2024 with extensive summer touring with Alanis Morissette. Something to look out for, it is also recommended to catch Mindsets if you have not already done so, because Cryptic Rock gives this EP 5 out of 5 stars. 

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Mindsets artwork
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Mindsets / Blackheart Records (2023)

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.

Jackie KnightowlAuthor posts

Avatar for Jackie Knightowl

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *