First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11
Written by Michael Cooney
Pat Benatar was a rock ínĎroll revolutionary. Through her arrival on the pop charts in the early í80s with songs like Heartbreaker and Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Benatar blazed a trail for female musicians and delivered a powerful message to society. She achieved coveted mass-market appeal while rejecting the traditional damsel-in-distress persona, and she never once removed a stitch of clothing. She was irresistibly sexy without being overtly erotic, and she never demeaned herself. Pat Benatar served as undeniable proof that women rock stars could kick ass as hard as the guys, and they could do it on their own terms. Later in her career as her record sales began to slip, Benatar found herself locked in a battle with her record label over control of her image and the direction of her music. She never gave in, and she did fight back. However, she also faded from view.
With her new album Go, Benatar is still rocking strong, and she has managed miraculously to maintain control over her career. Distributed in part by the smaller, but no less formidable, Vanguard Records, she has outlasted the need for major label support. Go was created with Benatarís long-time collaborator, husband, guitarist, and keyboardist Neil Giraldo. She is still writing about strong, confident women, and the album has moments of the guitar-driven, loud rock that made her famous. Most of it, however, is less radio friendly than her earlier work. At this point in her career, it would seem that Benatar is not all that interested in crafting hooks and hit singles, and much of her writing on Go signals a softer, more sentimental side. Songs like Brave and Please Donít Leave Me are sincere, but they also sound a bit sappy. Go is not Benatarís best work, by far, but the pleasure of again hearing her uniquely tough, sensual singing voice booming through the speakers is worth the price of the album. Pat Benatar should be cheered for remaining true to herself. After more than two decades in the business, she is still making music on her own terms. There are men who have fared far worse.
Go is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box