Rocks and Honey
On her sixteenth studio album, gravely-voiced chanteuse Bonnie Tyler explores some big AOR hits with equally big productions. Tyler hasn’t released any music in eight years and Rocks and Honey is about what you’d expect from the Welsh singer who sounds as comfortable in American-flavored country music as any other idiom.
“This Is Gonna Hurt” is a big, loud, defiant, country pop rocker with a jangle guitar up front and a good, sing-able chorus. “Believe In Me” is a wonderful, big, middle-of-the-road ballad that utilizes Tyler’s lower register to good effect in the verses and a solid Jodi Marr backing vocal on the big bridges and chorus. This song, co-written by the famous super commercial songwriter Desmond Child, is getting lots of play as this year’s U.K. entry into the Eurovision Song Contest.
Tyler duets with Vince Gill on “What You Need From Me,” a good song that overstays its welcome. (Tyler named this album Rocks and Honey to describe the contrast between her voice and Gill’s.) “Crying” sees a nice, heavy, four-on-the-floor beat from Chad Cromwell and a solid Ilya Toshinsky acoustic, with a great James House backing vocal. “Little Superstar” is a good cover of the Beth Hart song with Mike Rojas killing it on the piano.
Some of the tunes here mine the same territory, with their roll-up to over-produced choruses and the lyrics from each tune almost always centers around the subject of love in some form, but Tyler is in fine growl and she has some solid songwriters onboard for Rocks and Honey.