Break Up the Concrete

Studio Album by released in 2008
Break Up the Concrete's tracklist:
Boots of Chinese Plastic
The Nothing Maker
Don't Lose Faith in Me
Don't Cut Your Hair
Love's a Mystery
The Last Ride
Almost Perfect
You Didn't Have To
Rosalee
Break Up the Concrete
One Thing Never Changed

Break Up the Concrete review

The long and tragic history of The Pretenders

The band The Pretenders has a fascinating history. Although it was originated in London, Great Britain, the soloist and the constant leader of the collective has been American-born Chrissie Hynde, who moved to the United Kingdom in 70s of the twentieth century. For that moment, Chrissie already tried to create several bands, but they inevitably collapsed. However, the members of The Pretenders not only coped with each other as a band - they reached the high success in London almost immediately. The energetic mixture of punk and new wave became the success formula for the group. In 1980, the musicians were known all over the country. Unluckily, their triumph was darkened by the deaths of two members due to the drug overdose - both Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott died the same year. During 80s, The Pretenders regularly re-formed their lineup on the cause of the same tragic reason, and in some time, Hynde recorded the albums with The Pretenders with the help of session musicians. She also performed solo and made discs in collaboration with other artist - for example, Cher. In 1994, the last loud success by the band, Last Of The Independents, was released. However, Hynde continued to create and the follow-up Viva El Amor saw light in 1999. With long pauses, two more discs, the last one being recorded in 2002, continued it. The Pretenders, lead by the only initial-lineup member Chrissie Hynder, who is still filled with creative energy and forth, released the new disc Break Up The Concrete after a six-year hiatus.

Break Up The Concrete: the return to the roots

After the work Loose Screw of 2002, Hynde came back from London to her native Ohio, USA. It seems like this return to the Motherland stimulated her inspiration and gave her a handful of new ideas. The disc Break Up The Concrete can be called the coming back to the beginnings not only in this sense, but also in the manner of sound. The music on the album reminds of the things that The Pretenders created on the eve of their glory. It features elements of punk, hard rock and raw sound, spiced up with the new for the band, but familiar for Chrissie and organically contributing to the atmosphere of the long-play rockabilly and country rock. Singing easily at first about personal relations and a little later about politics (all in one song), Hynde decided not to break the tradition on the album opener Boots Of Chinese Plastic. In this sparkling tune, she wittily and colorfully shows her views on religion, reincarnation and issues of the world trade. The bluesy composition Don't Lose Faith In Me can be called one of the strongest tracks of the disc, featuring the piercing vocals by the artist. The infectious melody Don't Cut Your Hair became the bombast mix of boogie, punk and country rock. The country music also influences much on such tracks as the romantic ballad Love’s A Mystery, having a catchy tune song The Last Ride and dreamy composition Almost Perfect. The disc closes with the affectionately lyrical and sad song One Thing Never Changes, which can be described as superb.

Surely, the strongest record by The Pretenders

The new disc by The Pretenders is not only the long-awaited return of the legend of the rock, bur also definitely one of the strongest (if not the strongest) record by the band. The vocals by Hynde is still easily-recognizable and mesmerizing, her emotions easily transmit to the listeners. It is also very important that the new lineup of The Pretenders sounds very well played and high-professionally. It is no wonder, as Hynde worked over the Break Up The Concrete with lead guitarist James Walbourne, who is the native for the UK, where The Pretenders started their big way, Eric Heywood, bassist Nick Wilkinson and legendary drummer Jim Keltner, who collaborated earlier with The Beatles, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. On the Break Up The Concrete disc, almost all the tracks can be called the highlight masterpieces, which is a rarity nowadays. The re-union of Hynde with her roots, the American rock, gave the artist the new breath. Besides, she still has what to say, and songs on Break Up The Concrete became the concentration of her giant life experience. Philosophic and thoughtful, they make not only ponder over multiple problems of the today’s world, but also look seriously into the mirror and re-consider something in our life. Chrissie always was a success in finding the ideal proportion of beautiful music and witty texts - especially taking in consideration that she has been the major author of The Pretenders for all the years. The rock disc Break Up The Concrete, literally packed up with the potential hits, became the best work of the artist and her collective for many years.

Ninelle Kazakoff (24.10.2008)
Rate review3.27
Total votes - 33


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