PRETENDERS Viva El Amor!

PRETENDERS Viva El Amor!

PRETENDERS Viva El Amor!

At the beginning of the Pretenders’ new album, Chrissie Hynde adopts that trademark “Precious” snarl as she slogs off some anonymous girlie pop star and tells her listeners, “They don’t make ’em like they used to/ You shoulda just stuck with me.” More often than not, Hynde and her chosen colleagues of the moment make it worth the wait, and that’s certainly the case with this, the1st album of all new material since 1994. She has crafted a batch of songs that touches on every facet of her artistic personality, from the pouting tough gal to the gentle, hopeful romantic who, by the way, is still nobody’s fool. It’s textured and varied work that offers a glorious antidote to the one-dimensional figures many of her contemporaries have become. One gets a sense of what that must be like to be Chrissy’s 3rd husband, on songs such as when Hynde sings to one paramour that “I’d like to have you alone tonight/ And rearrange your mind … but I know I’d be wasting my time” and, in “Who’s Who,” directs another that “When we meet again/Just refer to me as back then.” Always so self aware…

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