-- Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' brand-new studio effort, Unvarnished, arrived in stores on Tuesday and the veteran rockers will play a special club show in New York City tonight to celebrate its release. The concert, which is sold out, will see Jett and company rock the stage at Santos Party House.
Unvarnished is Jett & the Blackhearts first full-length album of original songs since 2006's Sinner, and is said to be the most autobiographical set of tunes Joan has recorded. In a recent interview with USA Today, the singer/guitarist explained that the themes she tackled for her new songs reflect a period of growth for her during which she also suffered some losses of loved ones.
"For me, over these past several years, there have been different transitions in life," she explains. "Learning to grow up beyond just those experiences, and just talking about aspects of life that are different than the joyful [ones]."
Jett also admits that, while putting together Unvarnished, she struggled for a while to create new music before adjusting her approach to songwriting.
"I went through a bit of a writer's block until I realized that I really just had to sit down and do the work," she notes. "It doesn't just come pouring out."
Joan recorded Unvarnished mainly with the members of her backing group. However, one of the tunes, "Any Weather," was co-written with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who played all of the instruments on the track besides some rhythm guitar from Jett.
Most of the tunes on the album boast Jett's classic punk-rock sound, although a track titled "Everybody Needs a Hero," is a bit of a departure. Joan says the tune, which features strings, oboe and English horn, "may surprise some people, but in general, [Unvarnished is] probably what people would expect from us."
Unvarnished is available as a standard 10-track CD and download, while a deluxe 14-song digital version can be purchased at iTunes.
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