Hot on the heels of their platinum debut Dreamboat Annie, Heart released the more ambitious, less accessible Little Queen. Fortunately for them, the record contained the monolithic "Barracuda," which included one of the me... more »anest guitar chugs since Deep Purple's "Highway Star." The song rocketed to No. 11, and the album quickly went platinum. The rest of the album, however, is less than lustrous. The mandolins that are sprinkled through the album are supposed to sound mysterious, but they're pretty laughable, and songs like "Cry to Me," "Say Hello," and "Treat Me Well" don't pack enough punch to awaken even the lightest sleeper. --Jon Wiederhorn« less
Hot on the heels of their platinum debut Dreamboat Annie, Heart released the more ambitious, less accessible Little Queen. Fortunately for them, the record contained the monolithic "Barracuda," which included one of the meanest guitar chugs since Deep Purple's "Highway Star." The song rocketed to No. 11, and the album quickly went platinum. The rest of the album, however, is less than lustrous. The mandolins that are sprinkled through the album are supposed to sound mysterious, but they're pretty laughable, and songs like "Cry to Me," "Say Hello," and "Treat Me Well" don't pack enough punch to awaken even the lightest sleeper. --Jon Wiederhorn
Mark R. from LONGMEADOW, MA Reviewed on 10/30/2006...
Sophomore outing. Nicely done. Sweet melodies and decent guitar work.
Tigerdag | TN | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must say I disagree with Jon Wiederhorn's introductory review of this Heart work. This album is much more accessable than their debut effort and clearly reveals their Zeppelin influences with heavy mandolin/acoustic guitar plays. The other reviewer who liked Dream of the Archer and said he did not like Sylvan Song seems unaware that Sylvan Song is the lead in or introduction of Dream of the Archer. I'm uncertain how you can dislike one and prefer the other. No more is it clear that this is a 70's album when one hears Ann play the flute. As much as I enjoy their new work Jupiters Darling, I miss hearing that wonderful flute sound! To me this is the best album that Heart released and it's too bad there's not more music out there like this today. Pick up the newly remastered version of this today and enjoy a couple of extra tunes as well."
mattymath | Orange, Virginia USA | 12/30/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the time, my reviews reflect the critics, but this is not one of those times. This is a wonderful CD. Every Song either rocks or is beautiful. "Barracuda" rocks and I think that's what led to the downfall of this album. Everyone heard "Barracuda" on the radio and thought the whole album was going to be some female heavy metal excursion. Instead they got songs like "Love Alive" which is much prettier than anything Jewel is putting out right now. "Sylvan Song/Dream of the Archer" has lovely Mandolin riffs, a tuly beautiful pair of songs. "Kick It Out" and "Little Queen" get the band rocking again and "Treat Me Well" is another beautiful song in the "Love Alive" vein. The last three tracks, while passable are not up to the level of the rest and keep this from being a 5 star album. P.S. The Wilson sisters we're definitely at their most beautiful on the cover of this album."
Little is right, 'cause this ain't big
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 06/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If this entire album had sounded like "Barracuda," this might have been called Big Queen. What this song did establish with that galloping, snarling guitar was that women could rock. Although they did reach rock peaks with the Bebe Le Strange and Heart albums, this set the standard, something that would be duplicated in the song "Back In Black II" from Desire Walks On.The next three songs have a kind of nature theme sound to them. Must be that album cover with the gypsy-like caravan. The mellow "Love Alive" features some exotic instruments, such as a flute, tabla and an autoharp. The tempo then picks up with drums and electric guitar, mirroring that "sunbeam arch thrilled me to my weary heart/It was the prettiest thing I ever seen" line sung a few verses earlier. In some ways, this reminds me of a stripped down "Magic Man."The brief instrumental "Sylvan Song" has Nancy Wilson and Roger Fisher on mandolins. That and the moog bass by Howard Leese gives it an alternately folky and new age sound to it.This segues into "Dream Of The Archer", which gives an medieval lyrical image, with Wilson and Fisher still on mandolins. The sylphs in the forest have clearly bewitched the archer here."Kick It Out" is the other rocker about a wild child. Her motto: "Kick out your motor and drive/while you're still alive--kick it out."The next three songs make a sagging midsection that causes me to deduct a point. The title track is a mid-paced number with a prominent bass. Then comes Nancy's solo vocal number, the ballad "Treat Me Well", which has a touch of blues, and is helped out by piano and drums accompaniment. However, this isn't one of their better songs. The quasi-skiffle of "Say Hello" is lively with the mandolin riffs, with Ann's echoing vocals, but...Fortunately, Little Queen is rescued at the last moment with the last two songs. It's comforting ballad time with "Cry To Me", where the only instrument is Nancy's acoustic. The last verse is my favourite: "You're lonesome over a stormy Ocean/Lost in the rain and wind/We can clear these clouds away/and feel the Sun again." That segues into "Go On Cry," which starts with a guitar, with strings rising in the background, then drums, a slow bluesy riff. Ann and Nancy sing the title in harmony over and over. They would perfect this style ballad in "Mistral Wind."Also noticeable on this album is the absence of Sue Ennis, but that's a few albums away. Big Queen this ain't, but there are two rock princesses called Ann and Nancy."
Mr. C. J. Burchell | UK | 07/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Heart's second release certainly has its moments kicking off with the magnificent Barracuda, but it's a rather mixed affair, although the quality of this band lifts it above any other contenders in this field.
'Sylvan Song/ Dream of the Archer showcases Ann Wilson's wonderful voice and there is some excellent mandolin playing by sister Nancy and Roger Fisher. I also really like the upbeat 'Say Hello' and 'Cry to Me' is top flight showing just how good their melodies can be.
Heart consolidated their reputation on this release and it can sound very Led Zep, but with their own distinctive stamp. The only let down are the more rocking numbers such as the title track and 'kick it out' which don't have the appeal of tracks like 'Magic Man' or 'Crazy On You' from Dreamboat Annie.
This is a good disc and worth investing in, but is not as strong as their debut or the very good Private Audition released later in their career.
scorpion expert | ummagumma | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this was my third favourite heart cd along with their debut and dreamboat annie featuring the excellent barracuda and little queen.very highly recommended."