The Pretenders

The Pretenders

Viva El Amor!

Warner Brothers

She might not be the snarling foulmouth of the Pretenders debut, but Chrissie Hynde can still kick anybody’s ass on the Lillith Fair tour, even with this not-so-hot release. Compared to her past work, this is a lame record, even out and out bad in spots — her attempt at Janis Joplin-ness (“One More Time”) is horrid, and the rest of the disc doesn’t really get the motor running either. Bright spots are the snotty lyrics of the opener, “Popstar” where Hynde seems to be taking aim at her fellow femmes, and the Jeff Beck guitar solo spot on “Legalise Me,” which transforms a rather tepid electronic track into a string-strangling fuzz-fest. Yeah, this thing beats the hell out of Jewel and Alanis. But a woman who gave us “Precious” and “Tattooed Love Boys” should be able to do that in her sleep. Come on, Chrissie — hang out with some new rough boys and get excited again.

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