It’s not hard to believe that the Pretenders are still going strong after forty two years after forming in 1978. They have a bankable back catalogue but rather than rest on the laurels they continue creating great albums and that can be said for their eleventh studio album Hate For Sale. Probably the most disappointing thing is that we probably won’t get to hear it live in Australia for a while until this global health crisis passes over.
The opener and title track Hate For Sale is raucous and has plenty of punk swagger setting the tone for what is to come. Chrissie Hynde has been quoted as saying that this one is their tribute to the punk band they consider as being the most musical of genre, that being The Damned. The Buzz is a great single comparing love affairs and the characteristics of drug addiction.
Produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) this album is the first to be written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the highly sought after electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne. The trademark driving guitars of Turf Accountant Daddy just rocks. Album highlight for me is the soulful ballad You Can’t Hurt A Fool. There’s plenty of rock ‘n roll lessons to be taken in the lyric “genuine fools, don’t play by the rules, and she won’t reconsider.”
There’s something that sticks with me in tracks Maybe Love Is In NYC and Junkie Walk recreating that eclectic 80s style which will no doubt resonate with Pretenders fans. The energetic punk riffs of I Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely to the adventurous dub fused Lightning Man to the closing ballad Crying In Public gives the album plenty of flavour.
Pretenders have proved again that they can still deliver great songs that will strike accord with even the most staunchest of fans and yeah, they still do have plenty to say.
Album Review By Rob Lyon