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Break Up the Concrete
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Album: Break Up the Concrete
# Song Title   Time
1)    Boots of Chinese Plastic
2)    Nothing Maker, The
3)    Don't Lose Faith in Me
4)    Don't Cut Your Hair
5)    Love's a Mystery
6)    Last Ride, The
7)    Almost Perfect
8)    You Didn't Have To
9)    Rosalee
10)    Break Up the Concrete
11)    One Thing Never Changed
 

Album: Break Up the Concrete
# Song Title   Time
1)    Boots of Chinese Plastic
2)    Nothing Maker, The
3)    Don't Lose Faith in Me
4)    Don't Cut Your Hair
5)    Love's a Mystery
6)    Last Ride, The
7)    Almost Perfect
8)    You Didn't Have To
9)    Rosalee
10)    Break Up the Concrete
11)    One Thing Never Changed
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Chrissie Hynde (vocals); James Walbourne (guitar, accordion, piano, background vocals); Jim Keltner (drums, background vocals); Eric Heywood (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Don Smith .
  • Recording information: Sage And Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA (04/13/2008-04/25/2008).
  • Photographers: Richard Young; Adrianne Callaway.
  • The first Pretenders album after the longest recording layoff in the band's history (six years), BREAK UP THE CONCRETE finds Chrissie Hynde re-energized, fronting a new bunch of musicians on a fresh, arresting batch of new songs released on a new label. Original drummer Martin Chambers, still part of the touring outfit, is replaced here by session-drummer king Jim Keltner. Perhaps even more significantly, new arrival Eric Heywood (pedal steel) boasts a lengthy Americana resume (Son Volt, Jayhawks, Ray LaMontagne) and brings with him the highest quotient of rootsiness ever to occupy a Pretenders album.
  • While there are some driving rockers that recall the glory days of "Precious" and "Tattooed Love Boys," with Keltner employing ingeniously mutated New Orleans-cum-Bo Diddley beats, a striking number of tracks here roam a more roots-rock-oriented area. Warm, organic acoustic-guitar strumming and long, keening pedal steel lines frame Hynde's one-of-a-kind voice on the slow-burning country-soul waltz "Don't Lose Faith in Me," the rather Lucinda Williams-esque "Love's a Mystery," and other smartly conceived tunes, balancing out an album that's simultaneously earthy and urgent.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he best Pretenders record in years, a mix of galloping rockabilly and country & western songs, delivered in Hynde's trademark snarl..."

Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "[W]ith her velvet-sandpaper vocals and unflappable rock-chick cool, Hynde is more than enough to build an album around....She cuts loose with an effortlessness it takes years to cultivate..." -- Grade: B

Q (Magazine) (p.129) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's Hynde who steals the show with her lip-curling vibrato, part Elvis, part Dusty, never more intoxicating than on the seductive 'Almost Perfect'..."

Blender (Magazine) (p.76) - "The Pretenders' ninth studio album is a pleasant roots record....Hynde sings about May-September romance and the search for the paved-over soul of her busted hometown, Akron, Ohio..."

Paste (magazine) (p.57) - "Hynde's voice is as recognizable as ever -- all slow vibrato, unrestrained high notes and staccato alto..."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The steel guitar of Son Volt's Eric Heywood is a new voice to the mix, while Jim Keltner adds a veteran's deft touch to the rhythm tracks."
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