Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pretenders 10: Loose Screw

Reinvention is nothing new in the music business, and often celebrated. But listeners can get very confused when presented with a sound that’s not only very different from someone’s previous pile of albums. While Loose Screw was the first time Chrissie Hynde managed to keep the same Pretenders lineup for three consecutive albums, outside of her voice, the album sounds nothing like the band formed over two decades before. This time out the prevailing genre is reggae filtered through triphop, which may be fine for some, but if you’re looking for snarl, it ain’t here.
The opening “Lie To Me” does have a lot of bite, with no reggae touches, but it cuts out abruptly, almost mid-note, and then the sound takes over. From time to time a decent song rises from the mix, such as “You Know Who Your Friends Are” and “The Losing”, but for the most part she’s merely crooning her heartbreak. The two tunes written with Steinberg and Kelly don’t stand out in good or bad ways than the ones she wrote with her guitar player. Obscure covers still being her thing, this time she tackles “Walk Like A Panther” by a late-century British electronic outfit.
This is not an indictment of reggae as a genre; in fact, Hynde and Co. managed to tackle it pretty well in “Private Life” on the debut, and time to time since then. Loose Screw is an experiment that goes on too long, to the detriment of what might be some decent tunes. If anything, it’s like she completed the album, and let somebody completely remix and rerecord it, leaving only her voice as evidence. Sure enough, several songs were subjected to further dance remixes by the likes of Junior Vasquez, to somebody’s enjoyment, or so we’d hope.

Pretenders Loose Screw (2002)—2

No comments:

Post a Comment