Album Review: A Beautiful Life by Heartless Bastards
Great, Based on 2 Critics
Austin Chronicle - 80 Based on rating 4/5
"I will begin again," Erika Wennerstrom declares on the epic six-minute title track centerpiece to Heartless Bastards' sixth LP. Following a five-year band break and a solo turn from the lead vocalist, A Beautiful Life emerges not just as a reset, but as a breakthrough, both artistic and personal. Across the past two decades and various incarnations of the Heartless Bastards, Wennerstrom has unraveled a history of seeking, want, and escape in her liquidating vocals and raw, open-veined lyrics.
Erika Wennerstrom succinctly lays out the Heartless Bastards' motivation on "Revolution," the epic opener to the band's sixth album. "Big Brother's watching you and trying to sell you something new," she sings, as though she's trying to warn you away from a cliff edge or a Facebook questionnaire. "And I just want to take away, take away the blues." Music has always been her salve against the horrors of the world, a means of buttressing her mental health, and now on A Beautiful Life, it's a corrective to late-stage capitalism.