With Heart only intermittently active in the early 21st century, Ann Wilson took the opportunity to release her first-ever solo album, something her sister Nancy Wilson, Heart's other half, took care of back in 1999. But where Nancy's solo debut was a live, acoustic effort comprised of both original material and covers, Ann has gone the nearly-all-covers route for the Ben Mink-produced Hope & Glory; only one song, the album-closing "Little Problems, Little Lies," comes from Wilson's own pen. Specifically, Ann turns her attention toward songs that ostensibly deal with social and political hot-button issues, loaded with messages of war, peace, hard times and, mostly, imminent doom. It's a bleak album to be sure, undoubtedly inspired by the downtrodden national mood of the times in which it was recorded (that would be the George W. Bush era -- perhaps it's no coincidence that the album's release date fell on the sixth anniversary of 9/11). Ann's voice is strong and convincing on these tunes, largely drawn from the '60s and '70s with a few exceptions, and she's joined by big-name collaborators on most, making Hope & Glory a duets album as well as Ann's first solo. Elton John aids Ann on the anti-war "Where to Now, St. Peter?" which first appeared on John's 1971 Tumbleweed Connection album and remains as poignant a lyric today as it was then. The futility and stupidity of armed conflict is also the subject of Neil Young's "War of Man," for which Alison Krauss teams up with Ann. Nancy Wilson is present on three tracks: Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky" and two by the sadly underrated Youngbloods, the hopeful Summer of Love anthem "Get Together" (which also features Deana Carter and Wynonna) and the considerably more ominous "Darkness Darkness," from that group's stellar Elephant Mountain album. While Ann pulls off the former cover admirably, her take on the latter is a clear example of a song whose original rendition has never been topped -- Robert Plant attempted that one as well in 2002 and came up short. Speaking of Plant, Heart always owed a lot to Led Zeppelin and Ann must have relished the thought of giving Zep's "Immigrant Song" a shot. This one, too, though tailor-made for her throaty hard rock wail, only succeeds in making the listener want to break out the prototype. Ditto John Lennon's "Isolation" -- who could ever hope to capture the desperation behind Lennon's own reading of that one? Ann fares better on Lucinda Williams' "Jackson," the Animals' "We Gotta Get out of This Place" (also with Wynonna) and, with Gretchen Wilson (no relation), turns out a rocking "Bad Moon Rising," the foreboding Creedence Clearwater Revival rocker. Of the covers, that leaves the obligatory Dylan, and Ann goes with the apocalyptic "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," with Rufus Wainwright and Shawn Colvin. Wainwright's plaintive warbling may seem to be out of sync with such a stark lyric, but he saves the day here, bringing an appropriate dread to the tune that neither Ann nor Colvin are able to muster. Finally, the Ann Wilson original wraps things up. An acoustic-based, country-ish ballad, it's consistent with the mood of the record, part depressed and part cautiously optimistic. It also sports one of her most heartfelt and less derivative vocals on the set. Hopefully the next time around she'll find enough to say on her own to release a solo album of her own material.
Performance CreditsAnn Wilson Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Harmony,Knee Slaps
Alison Krauss Vocals,Guest Appearance
Shawn Colvin Vocals,Guest Appearance
Teddy Borowiecki Piano,Accordion
Ingrid Friesen Background Vocals
Wynonna Judd Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
k.d. lang Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Ric Markmann Bass,Electric Bass
Ben Mink Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Dobro,Fiddle,Percussion,Strings,Violin,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Keyboards,Viola,Hand Clapping,Charango,Mandocello,cuatro,Lap Steel Guitar,Baritone Violin,Knee Slaps
David Piltch Bass,Upright Bass
Randall Stoll Drums
Deana Carter Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Rufus Wainwright Vocals,Guest Appearance
Gretchen Wilson Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
David Eaman Banjo
Ben Smith Percussion,Drums
Technical CreditsBob Dylan Composer
John Fogerty Composer
Elton John Composer
John Lennon Composer
Jimmy Page Composer
Robert Plant Composer
Roger Waters Composer
Lucinda Williams Composer
Neil Young Composer
Jesse Colin Young Composer
Barry Mann Composer
Dave Dysart Engineer
Wynonna Judd Duet
k.d. lang Duet
Scott Lehrer Engineer
David Leonard Engineer
Patrick MacDougall Engineer
Ben Mink Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Bernie Taupin Composer
Cynthia Weil Composer
Ann Wilson Composer,Liner Notes
RIck DePofi Engineer
Tom Schick Engineer
Matt Still Engineer
Bart Pursley Engineer
Masa Fukudome Engineer
Gretchen Wilson Duet
Carol Peters Management
Brandon McWhorter Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hope & Glory based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
I got to listen to the advance of this album and I can only shake my head. Ann has promised a solo album since 1984 and all she can come up with is poorly produced cover tunes with unlikely Country Music artists. The album lacks feel and substance and seems to have been done to pass the time while she was busy with something else. This album would fit in as a Lovemongers fodder release than anything truly solo or Heart related. It is however not a bad album but on the caliber of artist Ann Wilson used to be I expected much more than this Half Hearted attempt.
I love the album. I have it on repeat. I'll occasional go back for extra listens of favorite tracks, especially War of Man, Isolation, Where to Now St. Peter?, Jackson, and Goodbye Blue Sky. I love Ann's singing. I'm also really in love with the violin playing on Bad Moon Rising and other tracks. I like how the tracks bring a variety of topics on a theme, varying moods -- moving from something folksy to honk tonk and country. Honestly, I'm really in love with this album. Ann reworks these tunes, undating them into an outstanding collection of tracks.
What an uninspiring listen. I waited since the early 80's to hear the much talked about Ann Wilson solo album and all I get is this? The production doesn't even sound like Ann Wilson. Her voice is clipping and raspy! The cover songs aren't done that well and the producer must have been drunk to put out an album with her clipping so horrible. If I ever do meet Ann Wilson in public I'm going to ask for a refund.
Most hard core Heart fans have waited a very long time for Ann Wilson to release a solo album. It was surprising to us that Nancy actually released hers first. Now, the wait is over and Hope & Glory is available to everyone. Do not let the names of the guests on this album fool you. Ignore the fact that Nancy Wilson appears on three of the twelve tracks (25% of the album as one reviewer pointed out). This is indeed an Ann Wilson solo album. There is never a doubt on any of these songs who the star is here. If you are one of those fans who loves when Heart does originals, your knee-jerk-reaction might be to dismiss this album since only 1 song is an original. Do not make that mistake. If you do, you will miss out on perhaps the best recorded studio peformance Ann Wilson has ever given. Ben Mink does an excellent job producing Ann and the album showcases Ann's voice with its various facets in a way no Heart album ever has. If I had to catagorize this album into a specific genre - I wouldn't even know where to begin. I guess Americana is the new in word for this eclectic mix of musical stylings. It is nothing like you've ever heard Ann do before. Highlights are Jackson, Darkness Darkness, and War of Man. But no song is done as masterfully as Isolation. In 1999 when Ann and Nancy toured with their acoustic show, they covered Mother by John Lennon. To this day, I remember the chills I got hearing Ann sing a song that was so emotionally personal for John. It was as if she channeled John that night. I love that this Beatles fan that gravitated more towards Paul McCartney seems to embrace the John Lennon songs first. Most of the songs John Lennon wrote for his first effort post Beatles were immensely personal. When I first heard Ann was going to cover Isolation, I was excited about it. She did such an amazing job with Mother, I was sure she would do Isolation justice as well. When I finally got to hear Isolation, I was not disappointed. Ann's version stands on its own merits. Isolation is such a perfect fit for Ann's voice. Hearing that it only took one take to get what's actually on the album, only heightened my appreciation of Ann's version. It is a perfect vehicle to showcase all the facets of Ann's voice. No doubt, John Lennon would be proud. Ann selected most of these songs to make a statement about the times in which we live and how we, as a country keep repeating the same mistakes. She said she wanted to do it in a way that doesn't cram the message down your throat. Ann should be happy to know that she's accomplished that. Ann's solo album is finally here and it was well worth the wait. And for most Ann Wilson fans who say they'd be happy to hear Ann sing the phone book, you will be glad to know that she's giving you much more than that on this album. She's giving you her soul. And a beautiful soul it is.
I haven't bought the album "yet", but I just returned from the Love Rules tour in Atlantic City and Ann Wilson sang, or should I say, cranked-out a few songs from this Hope and Glory album. War of Man, Immigrant Song definitely didn't resonate this weird polished and tame studio sound, but instead rocked out the raw passionate Ann vocals we know and love that chew you up and spit you out! Go see them!
I have every Heart album, plus Lovemongers and Nancy Wilson's album. But listening to the sample tracks on this site leaves me so bored that I'm not bothering to purchase this one. What a disappointment from rock's best woman vocalist.
I have been a Heart fan since they started. They are not afraid to try new things and deliver a well crafted melody packed with a strong message. Ann keeps that same momentum with this album, which sends a message for today. Ann is still the best. You can't listen to this album and not get the point. You won't be disappointed.
Parents, run out and get this one for you and your kids, in the hope the children can grow up with a understanding of what real music should sound like. Save the youth from Brintney Spears.
Thee voice has once again shown her power and wizardry by performing these songs from the past and completely transforming them into music and words that pertain to things relevant in today's tumultuous society. I can't begin to express my feelings about this new cd by Ann Wilson, otherwise known as "thee voice"!! Having heard the cd, and having the ultimate live experience of some of these songs just proves that they can infiltrate one's soul in many different levels of emotion and feelings. I feel as though the cd will have profound meaning to the individuals that heard these songs the first time around. An all-star lineup joins Ann and justs makes the whole experience a more meaningful listen. If given the chance to listen to these songs live, don't miss it. Hopefully, she will in the future, bring out another solo cd for our listening pleasure. Thank you, Ann.
A lot of people are going to take the 'social political' songs on this album. Has anyone else bothered to look at the world today? Ann makes us think about what's going on and frankly, Our world is bleak. It does suck. FINALLY someone has the guts to speak out about what the world is like. She is our voice. As always Ann is in TOP form on ALL songs.
I have always thought Ann Wilson was about the best rock vocalist of all time. However, this dismal effort might change my opinion. After 20+ years of promises of a solo album and this is the result. A non-rock and limp collection of covers! Also, Ann's voice doesn't even sound good. Not one cut do i like. "Immigrant Song" is an abomination, Ann should be penalized for her horrendous slaughtering of one of the greatest rock songs of ever. it is sad because as heart, ann nails led zep songs. i just saw heart in concert a few weeks ago, and ann rocked but then she was doing what heart does best HARD ROCK!! i would suggest that ann and company get back to the studio fast and record some great original hard rocking heart tunes!!
Coming from a band as great as Heart used to be I was sorely disappointed in this dismal and sad release. All the years of hearing about an Ann Wilson solo release and all that could be churned out was this sad and hopeless release of butchered classics. Sorry to hear greats fall like this...truly sad.
What an awful mess!! I tried to listen to this cd with a friend but was unable to listen to even one track in its entirety. the cd is very poorly recorded and ann's voice which is normally stellar sounds strained and tired. i really dislike the bland non rock flavor of the album. especially offensive is the massively re-worked cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". it really stinks!!! i don't like any of the tracks, they are all boring and ugly sounding. the album is a real bummer!!!!