Chrissie Hynde very rarely loses her cool, but on Loose Screw
, the Pretenders' first studio album since 1999's Viva el Amour
, she lets her anger and sense of betrayal rip, no doubt fueled by her recent break-up with her husband, Colombian sculptor Lucho Brieva. Hynde sinks her teeth into her material from the angular, anxious first cut, snarling her way through "Lie to Me," a play-by-play account of marital discord and emotional treachery. The CD is almost a song cycle centering around heartbreak, as Hynde moves on to self-recrimination ("Complex Person"), explicit pain ("I Should Of"), poetic sadness ("Nothing Breaks Like a Heart"), and revenge ("Fools Must Die"), showing more naked vulnerability than she has in her entire career. But before you get worried that this steely rock goddess is losing her edge, she emerges with teeth bared in a cover of Jarvis Cocker's sultry sexual challenge, "Walk Like a Panther." Seldom do you get to see an artist exorcise her pain in public with such poise and fearlessness. Pretender guitarist Adam Seymour cowrote most of the songs with Hynde, but that's not the only place where his talents lie. His subtle and understated guitar work is a perfect foil for Hynde. --Jaan Uhelszki
International edition of their eighth studio album, originally released in 2002, has two bonus tracks 'Complicada', a Spanish language version of Complex Person, which has been produced by Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music, and a stunning 10 minute long version of the old jazz standard 'I Wish You Love', and a screensaver based on the front cover artwork. Eagle. 2003.