First Appeared at The Music Box, January 2003, Volume 10, #1
Written by John Metzger
The pain and anguish of heartbreak, loss, and tragedy have served as the subjects for countless songs and albums, regardless of genre. Yet, artists never tire of covering these despondent topics, and fans never grow weary of listening. After all, these are universal themes and emotions; ones to which everyone can relate. And, when done right, the performer’s own personal experiences transcend the song, touching the listener in the most profound way. Such is the case with the Pretenders’ latest outing Loose Screw. Largely comprised of songs that draw upon lead singer Chrissie Hynde’s recent marital break-up, the song cycle examines the dissolution of a relationship from every possible angle.
Lyrics alone, however, don’t make an album great. Instead, the words must be matched with a suitable musical arrangement, pleasing enough to catch one’s attention and complex enough to hold it. On Loose Screw, the Pretenders is more than up to the task. The band forever has fused together rock, pop, reggae, and soul to form its trademark, classic sound. But Loose Screw is something just a little bit different. The songs merge together and are more tightly played than those on any other outing by the band. From the snarling fury of Lie to Me to the slinky R&B of Walk Like a Panther, Hynde allows her emotions to become a deluge, while the music carries her away. This shouldn’t be that surprising given the Pretenders has been making albums for nearly 25 years. But where many artists of the group’s generation packed it in long ago — or worse, have begun to phone in their performances — the Pretenders has turned in an outing that cuts to the bone and resonates quite deeply. ½
Of Further Interest...
Loose Screw is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box