wed 12/08/2020

Album: The Pretenders - Hate for Sale | reviews, news & interviews

Album: The Pretenders - Hate for Sale

Album: The Pretenders - Hate for Sale

Growing old (dis)gracefully: Chrissie Hynde and Co still got rock’n’roll

The Pretenders: quality rock'n'roll

It is difficult to live up to your own legacy when you’ve reached an iconic status in rock’n’roll. It is even harder when you are a frontwoman in a “masculine” genre where age makes you increasingly invisible and/or viciously criticised. Like Chrissie Hynde sings in the autobiographical “Can’t Hurt a Fool” from the new record, she does not “play the rules” and is “too old to know better/too young for her age”. She rises to the challenge with confidence and oomph: the tunes from the new Pretenders album Hate for Sale are well worth the listen.

If you are a Pretenders fan, you will not be disappointed: staying true to the punk roots of the band, the album opens with a tribute to The Damned, “Hate for Sale”, and goes on to take us on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. It’s got it all: from energetic punk rock riffs in “I Didn’t Wanna be This Lonely”; through elegant ballads with profound vocals like “Crying in Public”; to adventurous tracks such as the dub-inspired “Lightning Man”.

Hate for Sale recreates The Pretenders’ eclectic 1980s style, matching listeners’ expectation to hear punky tunes that evoke earlier hits like “Middle of the Road” from the seminal 1984 Learning to Crawl and slower numbers like “Hymn to Her” from 1986’s Get Close. But does this album have anything new to say? Not so much. And so what? It’s a fun, melodic, and memorable listen.

One of the greatest balancing acts in music is knowing when to stop and The Pretenders are well aware of that. So, when a new album of theirs comes out, it's not the result of an automated process but quality rock’n’roll. Here, the current line-up of the band, which still includes original drummer Martin Chambers, prove they are more than capable of coming up with some really good stuff.

Does this album have anything new to say? Not so much. And so what? It’s a fun, melodic, and memorable listen

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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