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Cherie Currie & Brie Darling - The Motivator (Blue Elan Records)

26 June 2019

There are two ladies who have carved a name for themselves and made people sit up and take notice of the female presence in rock music. Cherie Currie of The Runaways and Brie Darling of the original, all-girl band Fanny who kicked down the boundaries of female acceptance half a century ago. These two stars have joined forces on a new project, and one which has arrived at the right time.

The question is now thankfully answered, what happens when you put two titans of music together in a studio?
You get music of effervescent magnificence that is galvanized by the talent and sheer skill of all involved. The duo is not releasing a journey into nostalgia, tapping back to the good old days. Instead, this album is a showcase of two veterans pushing forward and making their mark once more. The joint venture is due to release The Motivator album on August 2nd, and already the anticipation has reached a fever pitch.

Whatever hype there is surrounding this alignment of Currie and Darling, the fact of the matter is thankfully justified. The only point of concern is the first snippet, a cover of the T.Rex classic “The Motivator” (included below). The track does not fully do justice to the utter brilliance presented on the album. For one, I was expecting the same stuttering guitar, and drum assault (not wholly a bad thing), as audiences will be anticipating. However, what lies on the album is something of greater depth, a well executed trajectory of sound by Currie and Darling who have both their mojo’s firing on all cylinders. Producing an album containing nine covers and three original numbers.

After the initial burst of “The Motivator”, the second track, “Gimme Shelter” (The Rolling Stones) is not a simple cover, but a dramatic reinvention of the track. Pumped by a sublime piano signature, and dual vocals of both ladies it’s at this point you really get into the guts of the album. “Gimme Some Truth” (John Lennon) starts off as an angst driven nursery rhyme before blasting off as the subversive theme intensifies.

The Youngbloods classic “Get Together” (Included below) has a country tinge to it, enjoyable and passionately delivered, setting up nicely the soulful rendition of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”. A reflective midpoint on the album, like a drawing of breath, this is a beautiful track, the chemistry of Currie and Darling is awe inspiring as the vocal gymnastics of both complement each other perfectly. “This Is Our Time” brings the tempo back up again, the first original and anthem for the two rockers makes a statement of intent. Followed by the poignancy of “Too Bruised”, the second original, and standout out of the three. Showing not only the vocal strengths of both but the skill they possess to craft a knockout song.

Guitar cranks return with the final self-penned “I’m Too Good, That’s Just Too Bad”, followed by a stellar retelling of the Thunderclap Newman hit “Something In The Air”, which rolls along like an out of control juggernaut of classic rock. Sister of the great Suzi Quatro, and ex-Fanny member Patti Quatro lends her voice, and guitar chops to the Buffalo Springfield number “For What It’s Worth”. A smoldering version with an urgency that makes the intensity of the lyrics just as relevant today as they were fifty-years ago. The duo however, did leave the best until last, “Higher Ground” is quite simply inspired. With a synthesizer opening, the song pumps gracefully along as if it was handmade for Currie and Darling. Simply put, The Motivator is an enjoyable album, spread across twelve tracks. By the time “Higher Ground” begins to fade it will feel like this style of rock and roll will save us all from a mundane existence.

Track Listing:

1.The Motivator
2.Gimme Shelter
3.Gimme Some Truth
4.Do It Again
5.Get Together
6.He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
7.This Is Our Time
8.Too Bruised
9.I’m Too Good, That’s Just Too Bad
10.Something In The Air
11.For What It’s Worth
12.Higher Ground

To Pre-order;

The Motivator;

Get Together;