Ann Wilson is struggling for words to describe the emotional pull she felt while making Heart's brand new "Fanatic." Even after 14 studio albums, the singer wasn't phoning it in.

"Ahh," she sighs. "This one really took all of me. I felt like I'd been struck by lightning by the time it was finished."

The passion is palpable from the get-go as the forceful title track barrels out on sister Nancy's fierce guitar riffs and Wilson's banshee wail makes what's either a band statement or social commentary: "Don't try and tell me the world is changing/Heart's getting stupid," she sings.

"It's definitely us contemplating," she says. "We're suggesting that we use some of our higher powers to love and solve some of our problems. We're a very sick society, so that could be a very healing thing. It's an old idea, right, but it's a very great idea."


Wilson is talking deep stuff.

"Committed stuff, sure," she says. "We've got opinions. It's not just a bunch of slow dances."

The album, however, does slow for "Walkin' Good," a lovely duet between Nancy and Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, whom the Seattle rockers met playing McLachlan's femme-fronted music festival, Lilith Fair, last year.

"We met so many great women," says Wilson, before adding that she doesn't delineate music by gender.

"Is it Best Male Guitarist and Best Female Guitarist? Or is it Best Guitarist," she proposes. "That's the list I'd like to see."

Going to the superprom

This year saw Heart issue a massive anthology, “Strange Euphoria,” and a biography, “Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll.” Plus, just two days before Metro spoke with Wilson, Heart got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“It was such a Hollywood event,” Wilson giggles. “When you don’t come from Hollywood, boy, is it ever a dose of Hollywood. And such an honor of course. We got all dressed up and had makeup and hair done. It was like going to superprom.”


with Alejandro Escovedo and The Sensitive Boys

Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Beacon Theatre

2124 Broadway at 74th Street

$45-$140, 212-465-6500

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