Ann Wilson is undoubtedly one of the best vocalists of all time, and she knows just how to hit me right in the heart. With her new single, Tender Heart, which she released on January 22, 2021, her raw vocals combined with a soulful organ and poignant lyrics, cut straight to my soul.
In an email to her fans, Wilson stated that Tender Heart was written about coming to terms with an "inescapable truth". The song hits deeply as it speaks about the naiveté and innocence of heart that has not yet been hardened by experience and hard truths. Wilson says that the lyric "innocence is still a part...of your sore and tender heart" refers to the "invincible belief in the beauty and purity of love". Wilson's lyrics are just as poetic as her email, and is a song that I will have on every single heartbreak playlist I make from here on out.
Though she rose to fame through Heart's signature 80s rock, I feel as though Ann Wilson shines the brightest when her vocals are the main focal point of the song. Her voice is smoky and vulnerable. Every line she sings initiates an intimacy with the listener that is hard to achieve, and she has a knack for making people feel less alone. The way Wilson delivers this song feels like a much needed warm hug on the coldest of days. As we, as a human race, are reconciling with some hard, unforgiving truths regarding the world around us, Tender Heart reminds us that though the world may try to harden us, and though we may feel heartbroken, we can remain soft. There is a pureness and a uniting quality to feeling love in its truest form, and through this love, hope can never die.
Thank you, Ann, for reminding me of how wonderful it is to love. This song is brilliant. It brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it.
You can stream Ann Wilson's Tender Heart on all platforms.