A monster powerful step in Hynde's ongoing return to form. While "Isle of View" showed confidence and innovation with mostly older material, "Loose Screw" is one of her strongest collections of original works. Yes, ever.
The overall approach still bristles with the muscular sexuality that has imbued all of the Pretenders' best work, regardless of changes in the band lineup. But here Hynde works in more and better reggae flavour than ever before, even adding some nuevo flamenco spice in the intro to "Cleanup Woman". Forget the world music references though, this album rocks from the git-go with "Lie to Me", a bracing dip into Hynde's pool of bad boyfriends. From that point on, "Loose Screw" never degenerates into the kind of lame-ass boring retreads that even the best of her (our) generation seem incapable of avoiding in middle age. I'm being cheap with the stars here, four ain't quite enough.
This record gives me new faith in the Pretenders, and new faith in rock. It also makes me want again to meet Chrissie Hynde, do her and let her hurt me.