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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