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Pretenders II


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Album Review

The Pretenders' debut album was such a powerful, monumental record that its sequel was bound to be a bit of a disappointment, and Pretenders II is. Essentially, this album is an unabashed sequel, offering more of the same sound, attitude, and swagger, including titles that seem like rips on their predecessors and another Ray Davies cover. This gives the record a bit too much of a pat feeling, especially since the band seems to have a lost a bit of momentum — they don't rock as hard, Chrissie Hynde's songwriting isn't as consistent, James Honeyman-Scott isn't as inventive or clever. These all are disappointments, yet this first incarnation of the Pretenders was a tremendous band, and even if they offer diminished returns, it's still diminished returns on good material, and much of Pretenders II is quite enjoyable. Yes, it's a little slicker and more stylized than its predecessor, and, yes, there's a little bit of filler, yet any album where rockers as tough as "Message of Love" and "The Adultress" are balanced by a pop tune as lovely as "Talk of the Town" is hard to resist. And when you realize that this fantastic band only recorded two albums, you take that second album, warts and all, because the teaming of Hynde and Honeyman-Scott was one of the great pairs, and it's utterly thrilling to hear them together, even when the material isn't quite up to the high standards they set the first time around.

Customer Reviews

Wake Up Call

This album was no sad follow-up, it was as good or, some might say, better, than the first album. Some of these songs changed the way that people play music now, like "Waste Not, Want Not" for the ache & the iambic pent... you know what I mean...something that The Pretenders, & C. Hynde always delivered, but it is very much refined for this album. Forget the 'hits'... "Day After Day" is superb. "Pack It Up" is what I sing and play when I have had it with where I am at the moment and need to be on the road. "Jealous Dogs" and "The English Roses" give you one of the tightest rhythm sections ever and her voice in truly rare form. Critics rag forever about second albums. So what. Don't listen to critics, listen to fans. a.w.

Critics Don't Always Get It Right...

And it is no truer then this follow-up to their self-titled debut. The Pretenders were a complex band. Sure they could produce great pop songs that seemed to appeal to the audience at large; but, when it came to letting it all out in the studio, no one was doing it better at the beginning of the New Wave Era then this band. Standouts on this album: The Adultress starts off with the swagger and pomp Chrissie has always been known for; Message of Love and Talk of the Town are the two great pop songs that this album is known for; Waste Not Want Not is a "hauntingly" great song; and The English Roses is a sad but powerful song about love. If you have already listened to the first album, then I hope you will give this album a chance. Bands, like critics, don't always get it right either...especially for their sophomore effort. Thank goodness this one did.

Critics don't always get it it right

Although not as exciting as her first album, the 2nd is very good despite the critics' ratings.


Formed: 1978 in London, Engalnd

Genre: Rock

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

Over the years, the Pretenders became a vehicle for guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde's songwriting, yet it was a full-fledged band when it was formed in the late '70s. With their initial records, the group crossed the bridge between punk/new wave and Top 40 pop more than any other band, recording a series of hard, spiky singles that were also melodic and immediately accessible. Hynde was an invigorating, sexy singer who bent the traditional male roles of rock & roll to her own liking, while...
Full Bio

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