12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Joan Jett’s 1994 set Pure and Simple ranks among her best. Indeed, the ex-Runaway had learned years earlier to simultaneously embrace and mock her own sexuality, especially as it related to the male-dominated worlds of rock 'n' roll (and beyond). But as often as she’d been miscast as a tattooed pariah, she could still out-rock any man and do it with real heart. It’s all here, too: Jett’s power-chording is as muscular as her sentiments are powerful. “Activity Grrrl” is an aural face-melter about a quixotic girl who’s unable to accept life’s basic truisms. Coauthored by Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, the song razzes those who misinterpreted the Riot Grrrl manifesto that Hanna helped create and Jett embraced. The overdriven pop of “Eye to Eye” and “As I Am” focus on failed love and acceptance; “Go Home” is about overcoming demons; “Wonderin’” deals with isolation and features one of the best rock breakdowns on record. Longtime Jett running bud Kenny Laguna is here, along with a few name cowriters. There’s a lot to love on this.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Joan Jett’s 1994 set Pure and Simple ranks among her best. Indeed, the ex-Runaway had learned years earlier to simultaneously embrace and mock her own sexuality, especially as it related to the male-dominated worlds of rock 'n' roll (and beyond). But as often as she’d been miscast as a tattooed pariah, she could still out-rock any man and do it with real heart. It’s all here, too: Jett’s power-chording is as muscular as her sentiments are powerful. “Activity Grrrl” is an aural face-melter about a quixotic girl who’s unable to accept life’s basic truisms. Coauthored by Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, the song razzes those who misinterpreted the Riot Grrrl manifesto that Hanna helped create and Jett embraced. The overdriven pop of “Eye to Eye” and “As I Am” focus on failed love and acceptance; “Go Home” is about overcoming demons; “Wonderin’” deals with isolation and features one of the best rock breakdowns on record. Longtime Jett running bud Kenny Laguna is here, along with a few name cowriters. There’s a lot to love on this.

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