Break Up the Concrete
Over the past 30 years, Chrissie Hynde has been the Pretenders’ only constant, said Alan Light in The New York Times. Though the lineup has changed, her breathy snarl and bad-girl bravado have given the band its unmistakable identity. Break Up the Concrete presents “yet another version of the Pretenders,” and the effectiveness of the band’s latest evolution is a testimony to Hynde’s uncompromising vision. The 57-year-old’s “persona is largely the same” as it was on the Pretenders’ 1980 debut, said Ben Greenman in The New Yorker. But the “straightforward roots rock” on the band’s ninth album shows off a new sound. The collection, cut live over 10 days, is gutsy and “smart and confident and questioning and vulgar and philosophical and energetic and weary all at once”—just like Hynde herself. She’s returning to her roots here, literally and musically, said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. Hynde has been spending time in her native Ohio, and it shows. In these “galloping rockabilly and country and western songs” she reincarnates Bo Diddley’s sound and serves up “pedal-steel weepers,” delivering the “best Pretenders record in years.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- One girl's extraordinarily wild world
Subscribe to the Week