When iconic artists release new albums, the word “comeback” often finds its home in the headlines of media outlets. But the album Blvds of Splendor is rock-solid proof that 70’s icon and former Runaways frontwoman, Cherie Currie, never went anywhere. The album was released via Blackheart Records on April 28, 2020, and is locked and loaded with the classic rock essence that has prevailed over the decades. With producer, Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) at the helm and behind the kit, there is something new to be discovered each time you give it a listen.
The first song kicks off with an explosive energy that catches your attention from the first fierce riff. Mr.X, written and backed by Slash and Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses, elevates Currie’s signature snarling sound and notorious attitude. The musicianship on this song is the first taste of the talent that is featured throughout the entire album. The uninhibited flow continues to the next song Roxy Roller, as Currie seduces her listeners from start to finish. Staying true to Nick Gilder’s 1976 hit, Currie adds her own vocal flair and is backed by Julie Ragins. You Wreck Me, a breakup song written in 20 minutes, is reflective of the raw emotions connected to romance. This song showcases Currie and Sorum’s storytelling abilities, both lyrically and instrumentally. The tempo takes you on the rollercoaster of love and heartbreak and leaves you with the reminiscent thoughts of your own failed relationships.
The introduction of synth and Lisa and Jessica Origliasso from The Veronicas on Black Magic, adds a whole new level of creativity to the album. The collaboration exposes the wide range of styles and capabilities of every artist involved in its creation. The modern pop influence merged with classic rock is a well-executed twist of tones. Which brings us to arguably one of the best collaborations on the entire album, which leaves no one wondering why it is the title track. Blvds of Splendor features a duet with Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan that exhibits the raw intensity of both individual artists. You are pulled back into the ’70s and can’t ignore the vulnerability in the lyrics and sound. This vibe is completely turned upside down with the next song, Force to be Reckoned With, co-written by Holly Knight and Jake Hays (Currie’s son). The energy spikes yet again and reminds you of the grunge and fringe that Currie breathes to life in her music. That energy continues in the next track Bad and Broken but adds lyrics into the mix that read like poetry. Written by Emily Belgard, a friend of Sorum, the lyrics are just as powerful on-page as they are in Currie’s vocals. The hard-hitting drums in this piece add a punch in all the right places and the guitar solo rounds out the entire song.
Rock & Roll Oblivion was written by Lanny Cordola (Giuffria, House Of Lords). Anyone who knows Currie’s story can feel the powerfully evocative lyrics at a much deeper level, but those who don’t know are not left empty-handed. The lyrics are matched with game-changing instrumentals that feature strings and an ominous sound that haunts you far after the song is over. This leads to Shades, another song written by Currie’s son Hays. But this time it’s beautifully subtle and tugs at your heartstrings. Much like the renditions of classic songs like Tommy James’ Draggin’ the Line, The Hollies’ The Air That I Breathe and The Monroe’s What Do All The People Know. Each cover paid homage to the originals but introduced the legendary Cherie Currie style. Breakout brings the record back up to speed with a head-banging sound and teen angst that gets your blood flowing. The vocal effects and chanting evoke memories of thrashing concert venues and loud music ringing in your ears. Gimme keeps the young and carefree vibe going and is wrapped up with a Beach Boys-inspired saxophone breakdown that you couldn’t forget if you tried.
The album ends where it all began, with a remake of Queens of Noise. Sorum ensured that the drums stayed faithful to the late Sandy West, and Currie’s vocals bring you right back to the days of The Runaways. Brody Dalle, Juliette Lewis, and The Veronicas come together and create the empowered women’s vocals and spirit of the original song. Blvds of Splendor is proof that rock n’ roll never dies, it just gets better with time.
Blvds of Splendor Full Album Track Listing
- Mr. X
- Roxy Roller
- You Wreck Me
- Black Magic
- Blvds of Splendor
- Force To Be Reckoned With
- Back and Broken
- Rock & Roll Oblivion
- Draggin’ the Line
- The Air That I Breathe
- What Do All the People Know? – Bonus Track
- Gimme – Bonus Track
- Queens of Noise – Bonus Track
You can stream the album here: https://blackheart.com/blvds
View Behind The Scenes with Cherie, Matt Sorum and more!!
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