Loose Screw

Loose Screw

5.0 2
by Pretenders
     
 

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You might not always be able to judge a work by its cover, but in this case, it's pretty safe to do just that: With Chrissie Hynde in what looks like a post-party repose, reclining on a bed, a hat shading her face from the breaking light, Loose Screw's sleeve gives off a relaxed, somewhat emotionally spent air -- something that's reflected in the disc'sSee more details below

Overview

You might not always be able to judge a work by its cover, but in this case, it's pretty safe to do just that: With Chrissie Hynde in what looks like a post-party repose, reclining on a bed, a hat shading her face from the breaking light, Loose Screw's sleeve gives off a relaxed, somewhat emotionally spent air -- something that's reflected in the disc's burnished tunes. As far back as "Private Life," Hynde has shown a fondness for dipping into reggae rhythms to goose the sultriness of her songs, a technique she reprises for the plaintive "Complex Person." On the tough-but-tender "Clean-Up Woman" (no relation to the Betty Wright chestnut of the same name), she harks back to the halcyon days of late-'60s soul, both in the no-nonsense attitude and the scratchy, sweet melody. The ether hangs a bit more heavily over "You Know Who Your Friends Are," a ballad in classic Pretenders mode, and one of several tunes that would seem to have been inspired by recent turmoil in her personal life -- specifically her split with husband Lucho Brieva. Hynde waxes both wistful (on the fragile "Nothing Breaks like a Heart") and warily angry (on the stiletto-sharp "Fools Must Die"). And while the band seem a bit out of their depth on "Walk like a Panther," a cover of a Jarvis Cocker–penned bit of Brit-pop fluff, Loose Screw as a whole shows Hynde to be as vibrant a performer -- and as incisive a writer -- as ever, even a quarter century on.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The Pretenders' eighth studio album, Loose Screw, is their first on an independent label after 20 years with Warner, but the switch hasn't made any difference in the group's style. It may have seemed to listeners that later albums softened the band's mainstream rock sound in an attempt to restore commerciality, especially when professional songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly began writing with group leader Chrissie Hynde. (They co-wrote the Pretenders' comeback hit single, 1994's "I'll Stand by You.") But in fact, the Pretenders have always mixed hard rock songs with ballads, and while Steinberg and Kelly are still onboard for two songs here ("Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" and "Saving Grace") that are among the album's more melancholy and melodic, slow tunes, there are also plenty of tough, unsentimental, guitar-driven songs in the traditional Pretenders mold. Lead guitarist Adam Seymour, in the band since 1994, has mastered the style of the band's original guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, a mixture of jarring chord fragments and chiming sounds. Drummer Martin Chambers continues to keep strict tempos and to favor bits of reggae-like syncopation, especially in the slower songs. But one still listens to a Pretenders album for Hynde's throaty, murmuring alto and lacerating observations, and she fulfills expectations immediately with the harsh leadoff track, "Lie to Me," beginning a song series devoted to romantic conflict and recrimination. Some of that criticism is self-directed, notably on "Complex Person" and "I Should Of," two appealing songs and could-be-hits, that is, if Hynde didn't deliberately drop an expletive into the lyrics of each. A major label probably would have argued against that sort of thing, and maybe there's the difference in being on an indie.
Entertainment Weekly - Dalton Ross
It's hard not to be enchanted by Chrissie Hynde's silky-smooth voice.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/2005
Label:
Artemis Records
UPC:
0699675173029
catalogNumber:
51730

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pretenders   Primary Artist
Martin Chambers   Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
Andy Hobson   Bass,Bass Guitar,Group Member
Kick Horns   Brass
Chrissie Hynde   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Priscilla Jones   Background Vocals
Tom Kelly   Background Vocals
Adam Seymour   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Jonathan Quarmby   Keyboards
Colin Elliot   Percussion
Mark Sheridan   Background Vocals
Duke Quartet   Strings,Brass
Mark Smith   Percussion
Kevin Bacon   Bass

Technical Credits

Ian Cooper   Mastering
Jonathan Quarmby   Producer,Audio Production
Stylorouge   Art Direction
Kevin Bacon   Producer,Audio Production

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