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The Pretender

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Editors’ Notes

The Pretender was another step in Jackson Browne’s transition from singer/songwriter to rocker. From the opening lines of “The Fuse”—his observation on the movement of time and the limits of life itself—on out, it’s clear that his wife’s suicide haunts this record. Browne worries for his son (“The Only Child") and wonders how he himself will soldier forth (“The Pretender”). In the end, his poetic lines beautify the truth, while the full band gives him a hopeful edge. The Pretender is a world of consequence—a heavy but deeply rewarding listen.


Born: 09 October 1948 in Heidelberg, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive California singer/songwriter of the early '70s. Only Joni Mitchell and James Taylor ranked alongside him in terms of influence, but neither artist tapped into the post-'60s Zeitgeist like Browne. While the majority of his classic '70s work was unflinchingly personal, it nevertheless provided a touchstone for a generation of maturing baby boomers coming to terms with adulthood. Not only did his introspective, literate lyrics strike a nerve,...
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The Pretender, Jackson Browne
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