Monday, June 30, 2014


For the first time, Hynde abandons the long-serving Pretenders name.  She pretty much is the Pretenders sound though, and I don't know of anybody who could make her sound differently.  Certainly the producer and co-writer on these songs, Swede Bjorn Yitling (see the title), keeps her strengths right in the front line.  Hynde's sounding great, all her tough persona and rugged voice fully intact.  And she has a batch of first-rate tunes that bear up to scrutiny as well as any Pretenders disc of the last 25 years.

Your Or No One gets the softer pop side of Hynde out of the way at the start, with a big sound on the chorus and her nicest coo, with that little warble she does.  The production has a bit of Spector to it, and if this was 1985, it would put her right back in the Top Ten.  Then we get to some meat, with a classic Chrissie put down of a middle-aged hipster trying to surround himself with cool, on Dark Sunglasses.  Down The Wrong Way sees Hynde use a guest star perfectly, with Neil Young contributing the lead guitar all the way through, sounding just like electric Neil Young, in a brilliant cameo.  In A Miracle is a dark ballad, reflecting Hynde's ongoing belief in the chance of true love.  But don't expect a softhearted romance; on Sweet Nuthin', she reminds "Don't you be such a baby/man up to me..".  Tough talkin', tough rockin', the way you want a Chrissie Hynde album.

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