Sounding exactly the way you think it does, Joan Jett & The Blackheart’s Sinner finds the rock icon’s trademark sneer turned, as on so many rock albums in 2006, on the conservative socio-political climate. Jett has never been known for profound insight (“I Love Rock & Roll” will endure as an anthem precisely because of its lack of subtlety), and Sinner isn’t a great leap forward in that regard. But the album does give a definite sense of direction and purpose to her what-you-see-is-what-you-get badass image. The bulk of Sinner—what with songs like “Naked,” “Fetish,” and a smartly-chosen and well-executed cover of Paul Westerberg’s “Androgynous,” all of which, again, are exactly the songs you think they are—is designed to make the Evangelicals squirm as much as possible. Which is an admirable goal, obviously, and the BDSM references of “Fetish” and the “She’s got some other fella as well as me” chorus of “A.C.D.C.” would more than do the trick if Jett were still as visible as she was 20 years ago. As is, her current following is limited to the punk circuit and the Hot Topic crowd, so there’s a preaching-to-the-choir aspect to Sinner that blunts its edges. But the album is still a great reminder that Jett, uncompromising as ever, absolutely still has that edge when so many other veteran artists go the Adult Contemporary route and try to milk nostalgia to keep their sales up.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: