We have a blog series called, “Music Monday,” here on Arner Adventures. Since music creates a soundtrack for our day-to-day living, it only makes sense.
The 11th studio release from The Pretenders, features ten nicely flowing new songs, clocking in at just around 30 minutes. This marks the first appearance by original member and drummer, Martin Chambers since their 2002 release, “Loose Screw.” Chambers and Chrissie Hynde are the only two original members since the deaths of members James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farnden back in the 1980’s. The band has had many different players fill the vacated spots over the years, and this time around James Walbourne on guitar, and Nick Wilkinson on bass guitar, fill out the sound nicely, and the band is as tight as ever.
If an album’s first track opens the door and introduces what’s to come, “Hate for Sale,” a nod to 70’s era British punk band, The Damned, comes through like Kramer into Jerry’s apartment, sliding across the floor. It’s a solid hard rocker, reminiscent of their earlier sound. “The Buzz” follows and is the first single off the album. A nice melody and great vocal from Hynde that, again, reminds one of classic era Pretenders. “Lightning Man” is pure reggae with an eerie melody sounding like it would fit on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. “You Can’t Hurt a Fool” features a lush arrangement and a Chrissie Hynde vocal that’s as beautiful as anything she has ever done. “Maybe Love is in New York City” picks up the tempo but maintains an easy-going mood, and more appealing melody to keep you listening.
The record breaks stride with the oddly appealing “Junkie Walk.” Chrissie takes a look at the seedier side of life, delivering the message “every junkie has to die.” The record continues with “Didn’t Want to Be This Lonely,” a rockabilly song, with some spirited instrumentation from the band to leave us feeling good. “Crying in Public” closes things down with a pretty piano ballad, and an irresistible vocal from Chrissie Hynde.
“Hate for Sale” sees Chrissie and her band in top form. Returning to their roots, with all songs written by Chrissie Hynde, 40 years after she proclaimed, “I’m special, I gotta have some of your attention,” she’s proving she is still special, and she is still getting our attention.