Released: May 1977
Chart Peak: #9
Weeks Charted: 41
Certified Double Platinum: 11/24/86
Heart's followup to their phenomenally successful debut LP continues their curious marriage of bursting-at-the seams hard rock and reflective, soft acoustic music. Understanding their meteoric rise is not that difficult -- lead singer Ann Wilson, with her urgent, often explosive vocals, is the closest rock has to a female counterpart of Zeppelin's Robert Plant (and anyway, Lord knows, we need many more women in rock & roll). Led Zeppelin influences abound, from Wilson's "Summer-of-My-Smiles" phrasing on "Dream of the Archer" down to guitarist Roger Fisher's Page-ish intro on "Go On Cry" and his ferocious riffing on "Barracuda" and the title track. The latter are the roughest and best tracks on record.
Heart's acoustic work is simply no match for their hard stuff; "Archer," with its mesermizing double-tracked mandolins, is the only nonrocker that works. The rest function as little more than diversions. The group also suffers from a lack of material; "Go On Cry" is simply some fancy guitar work fortified by a few wails from Wilson, yet it is the longest track on the record.
- Billy Altman, Rolling Stone, 6-30-77.
Heart is a Seattle, Washington, group fronted by the singing sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, both of whom are capable and energetic. What makes this, their second album, unusual is the way the band manages to present both mild, commercial pounders ("Barracuda," "Kick It Out") and airy, folkish material ("Ballad of the Archer," "Love Alive") in the same program. The band seems more comfortable with the latter, since it gives them more breathing room and has touches of color that the pounders don't.
In either style, the material is sometimes a trifle overwrought, and the presentation is sometimes more calculated than emotional. But the group has a snap and dash that are refreshing, and some of the cuts -- especially "Love Alive" -- stick with you.
- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 9/77.
Following its phenomenal debut album and single success on the small Mushroom label, Heart's switch to the small-roster CBS Portrait label finds the Northwestern sextet proving irrefutably that sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson can sing, write and play rock with all the hard drive and mystically lush overtones Fleetwood Mac is renowned for. Heart's music has complex textures and turbulent energy. The Wilson ladies are complete rockers without putting on any fake pseudo-macho butchiness. The Mike Flicker production brings lavish colors to the string-picking and synthesizer virtuosity of this brilliant group. Best cuts: "Barracuda," "Little Queen," "Dream Of The Archer."
- Billboard, 1977.
Little Queen continued the arena-rock formula of Heart's debut album, streamlining the bombast of Led Zeppelin into a glossy, pop-friendly but tough variation of hard rock. And with material as catchy as "Barracuda" and "Little Queen," it didn't seem like the band was treading water -- it seemed like they were using their strength to the best of their abilities. * * * *
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Although less focused than the debut Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen brings more of what made Heart a groundbreaking arena rock band, with legendary workouts such as "Barracuda" and the title track powering the airwaves for years to come. * * * *
- Eric Deggans, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
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