Pearl Aday is a self-proclaimed “Rock Child” and has every right to that title. The daughter of larger-than-life rocker Meat Loaf, Pearl has never known a day without music. In addition to singing back-up for Meat Loaf from 1994 to 2003, she has done the same for Motley Crue. I guess to ensure her progeny are homozygous for musical genes, she has married Scott Ian (Anthrax).
Just a few bars into her debut record, “Little Immaculate White Fox”, it is easy to hear her primary musical influence – Janis Joplin. Incidentally, her biological father played drums in Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band. Pearl’s name comes from Joplin’s nickname, which is also the title of her landmark 1971 album. Follow all that?
Pearl’s band is comprised of members of Mother Superior and “Little Immaculate White Fox” features guest appearances by Ted Nugent (“Check Out Charlie”), Jerry Cantrell (“Anything”), and, of course, her husband Scott Ian. The record is an explosive debut, featuring powerhouse vocals in the finest rock tradition mixed in with meaty guitar and groovy beats. Paying homage to one of the greats, Pearl has included a cover of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” among her original tunes.
All of the ingredients for something absolutely mind blowing are here, but what limits “Little Immaculate White Fox” is the uneven songwriting. There are some terrific highlights, such as the autobiographical “Rock Child,” “My Heart Isn’t In It,” “Nobody,” and “Worth Defending,” but most of the other tracks come up short in the melody category. While the performances and lyrics are good, this is not enough to make some of the songs as memorable as they could be. A final exception is the closing ballad, “Anything,” where Pearl shows us that she is ‘well rounded’ and can deliver an achingly tender love song.
Pearl could be the Joan Jett for this generation – a true, red-blooded rocker who lives and breathes rock and roll. Check it out to hear a truly gifted rock vocalist.
iPOD-worthy tracks: 1, 6, 7, 8, 11
Pearl on MySpace
Check out a live performance of “Mama” on Jimmy Kimmel Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAdpXSJHdH8