Classic rock group the Pretenders are back with a new record, Alone. What's most surprising is how great lead singer Chrissie Hynde sounds on nearly every track. She almost sounds better now then she did twenty or thirty years ago, and that's a great thing.
While the Pretenders are no strangers to releasing new records, it has bee a while since the group released any new material after 2008's Break Up the Concrete. Still, what's great to know about these guys is that their a classic rock band who continuously release new material and aren't relying on hits from the 70s and 80s anymore.
The highlight of the new record is of course Hynde herself. After thirty years in the music business releasing albums and touring, her vocals sound fantastic on every song on the new album. You can really enjoy listening to her, and let's be honest, she is the face of the Pretenders. On this record, Hynde goes back to her true self, and it's obvious from the first track to the last that she is answering to no one. She doesn't care what critics, the record company or even fans might think of the new record, which is what surprisingly makes this both a classic and great new Pretenders album.
That being said, the band is on top form in Alone as well. They've released some great space like tunes here, especially with songs like "Rodie Man," "Let's get Lost" and "Chord Lord". While the first track, "Alone" really is a great intro to the record as a whole, "Blue Eyed Sky" is a tune that best represents how Hynde has progressed and what she sounds like now. While these songs are for the most part break up tunes, they put an intense raw spin on that theme, helped of course by Hynde herself.
Alone isn't the best record of the year, nor is it the Pretenders best album. It is however, something new and fresh that old fans will love and might even drag some new fans into the group, and that's something every classic rock group is trying for.
Below; the new single from "Alone"