to Cherie Currie
Cherie Currie burst onto
the public stage as the lead singer of the Runaways in the mid 1970s.
Since the 2010 biography feature film The Runaways reminded everyone
that Joan Jett and Lita Ford were once part of a pioneering all-girl
band, Currie has made a concerted effort to regain a foothold in the
music world. It hasn't been easy, as she spent countless hours in the
studio with various vested parties and entities that ultimately cut
her recording efforts short before they even gained traction. That put
a real damper on things. More recently, however, the support of her
musician son Jake Hays, along with renewed associations with the late
Runaways mastermind Kim Fowley and former bandmate Lita Ford, helped
her realize the dream of Reverie, her first new album in 35 years.
Currie could have very well
gone with the simple, by-the-numbers rock approach of the Runaways on
Reverie, but she has chosen instead to broaden her palette and venture
into uncharted waters. The opening title track definitely catches you
off guard as sprite keys bounce on a bed of piano notes and drops of
guitar riffs supercharge the rhythm. Currie's effervescent voice bubbles
to the surface. This isn't the 15-year-old girl who sang "Cherry
Bomb" in 1976; this is a grown woman with perspective and seasoned
pipes to sort out the proclivities of life. The mid-tempo "Inner
You," written with Kim Fowley, offers deep retrospection for both
Fowley and Currie, whose strained relationship was miraculously resuscitated
to a creative boil before the former passed away in January 2015.
Jake Hays' role on the album
cannot be underestimated as he plays drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards
on virtually every song. He also sings the background vocals and trades
the lead vocal with his mom on the alluring "Shades Of Me,"
filled out by a haunting lead guitar from Mitch Perry. "Queen Of
The Asphalt Jungle" is an infectious rocker that would be at home
on any concert stage. "American Nights," another song co-written
with Fowley that features Lita Ford sharing vocals with Currie, is a
more straightforward hip-shaker that Runaways fans will likely relate
to. Definitely, a party song for a Saturday night.
The party grinds to a sudden
halt on "Dark World," a minuet of emotional depth that finds
Currie unveiling the scars of turmoil and redemption. With Fowley and
Ford's input, there's no telling who or what the song exactly pertains
to. "Believe" resonates with a contagious and positive outlook
that offers comfort to both the singer and the listener. "I'm Happy,"
yet another song written with Kim Fowley, surges forth with a gospel
feel and takes you even higher as Currie intones a life well lived and
explored. "Another Dream," with only Currie and Hays, sums
up the entire voyage on a hopeful note. There's a lot more music we
haven't heard from Cherie Currie; if it hums with the heart and soul
of Reverie, the singer's comeback will be all the more resolute after
a long-fought battle, fraught with valor and perseverance.
~ Shawn Perry