Amy Linden
August 16, 1991 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Notorious (Joan Jett album)

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
release date
08/20/91
music label
83227
genre
Rock

We gave it a B+

Joan Jett has long been a torchbearer for pure, no-frills rock & roll. So the fact that Notorious sounds basically the same as her other albums is almost the point. So what if ”The Only Good Thing” echoes her 1988 hit ”I Hate Myself for Loving You”? In both songs the music is all swagger and heart, with more crunchy riffs than the law should allow. A few signs do exist that Jett’s arms may be tiring from a decade of lugging the torch: She snarls less, sounds a tad more wistful, and spoils her version of the Runaways’ ”Wait For Me,” derailing her hard-rock train with intrusive Latin bongos right out of bad ’60s TV-theme music. Of course, even the softer Jett can still kick butt. She’s at her best on wailing glitter-rock anthems like ”Backlash,” written with the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg, who gives Jett slashing guitar lines and arena-rock choruses — just what you’d hope two true rock believers would create. B+

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