The one thing about The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde in particular is that they, and especially she, deliver the goods. This is a textbook case of how less is not just more, but masterful. This isn't a long CD. Maybe 40 minutes, but every single note counts and Hynde's lyrics spit and spark like the live wire she is. Loose Screw? I don't think so. Tight as all get out, this band locks in on its targets and devastates all and everything.
There is great stuff here throughout. The band adopts a dub undercurrent, yet there are jangling guitars, strings and power chords to rip through the soundscapes. Lyrically, Hynde assails broken relations, sexual passions, compromises, mistakes, regrets with an unblinking exitentialist eye that underscores what a bunch of snivelling whiners the wannabes like Aimee Mann and Ani DeFranco are.
And the last 2 cuts stand with the best of her work. "Saving Grace" is simply transcendent and comes from having lived life with no quarter asked or given. "Walk Like a Panther" is Hynde's retort to the knitwits in leotards who haven't the exisential stuff to walk in her shadow, inspite of their superior market strength. Clearly everyone from Madonna and JLo to Britney and Aguileira is in the crosshairs, and make no mistake about it, they haven't the right to grovel, paw and beg for the scraps from Hynde's table, breathe the same air she breathes, or claim in any respect that they are a women on the same plain as this mighty predator.
Hynde is a panther: graceful, dangerous, powerful, sleek, sexual, intuitive, formidable. No one to f with. She remains the single most important woman in rock music ever, and this is a lesson in how to get that power across and cut to the chase as well as to the heart.