Album Review: In the Heat of the Night by Pat Benatar

3/5 stars

This album runs over and through the pop culture of the late 70's. Pat Benatar can not wait to burst onto the scene, which is made clear with side 1's first bulldozing bionic song, "Heartbreaker." The lyrics, although not written by Benatar, have an incredible vibe as she launches into your love is like a tidal wave, spinning over my head '. Look out guys, she is turbo-charged and setting a pace for women rockers unprecedented since Janis Joplin.

Where has Neil Giraldo been hiding away, because his lick splitting style burns through with crisp illumination. There really are not enough words in the English language to describe the magnitude of his contribution to what is more than a female pop singer but a foundation of a band. There is a bounty full of amalgamation that is immediately notable as Benatar releases her vocals and Giraldo picks up the ball, filling the instrumental with unique idiosyncrasies.

"I Need A Lover", a song written by John Cougar, was still hot off the presses of his self-titled release when Pat Benatar scooped it up. Her version is less than Cougar's in length and feels almost out of place with the ambiance. This is the only song that risks the rest of the album from being a complete piece of work. There are other covers that fit well such as: "Rated X" (Nick Gilder) and "Dont Let It Show" (Alan Parsons) that are, by the time of this release, two and four years old, respectively. Both artists are in the prime of their careers and Benatar brings cognizance to her own debut release by recognizing their influence on music and including their work.

The ending of side one progresses smoothly into the beginning of side two with some slower-paced songs that in no way release you, but more appropriately draw you in, starting with the title track. Benatar is seductive in her syntax while slamming the gauntlet as she pushes her own vocals to a heightened pitch. Soulful beats are consistent as Giraldo begs the ear to ride the notes he distributes through the song.

Miss Benatar puts her stamp on the writing processes as she contributions "My Clone Sleeps Alone", collaborating with bassist Roger Capps. The lyrics scream to female rockers everywhere not to follow a path because you're told to, but to carve your own road to rock and roll heaven. This subliminal message is masked in the medical science progression of cloning human beings. The message underneath may not have been written on purpose, but it begs to be considered.

Neil Giraldo puts Benatar's vocals to the test, which can be heard in the sultry "We Live For Love". Her background as an aspiring opera singer gives her the chops to see it through as he strums the rhythms behind her. Do not think they are going to give you a moment to breathe as you are seduced by the hot sexual overturned "Rated X." This is the lyrical flipside of "Heartbreaker" with more of a submissive overtone, showing the sensitivity hidden within. The edge has been beaten down and the door of sexuality is sprung open.

"No You Do not" and "So Sincere" are born rock 'n roll numbers that leave the listener anxious for more. Benatar's vocal training works so well in the rock genre, as she is able to achieve highs and lows that will be hard to challenge. The pop culture will grab on to "Heartbreaker" and possibly make it hard for her to lose the title of 'queen of pop / rock' when it is clear that this girl can rock.


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Source by Rachael M Kohrn

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