November 12, 2018

The Pretenders - Loose Screw (Special Edition) (2002)

*Reissued in 2003 with 2 bonus tracks. Originally released in 2002 for the US market only. Contains 14 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop Rock
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)

© 2002-2003 Eagle Records
AllMusic Review by 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.

tags: the pretenders, loose screw, special edition, 2003, 2002, flac,


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