LA Is Full Of Pretenders… But SOME Are Amazing And Have Me Yelling “Viva El Amor”

Viva El Amor… Love is great.  Of course it is.  It is the main goal of life… to give and receive and make love.  What else do you need?

Okay, yes… we NEED money.  Crap!  But love… Ahhh…

This album is also great and one I did not know.  I knew “Human”, one of my favorite Pretender tracks, and a few others, but had not ever heard this one from start to finish.  My friend Denise asked me about it… I shrugged and do what I always do in that case… Find it on Spotify and queue it up.

Pretenders – Viva El Amor

This is one hell of a record… It does not overwhelm, it is not flashy or even edgy, but sometimes you just don’t need that… Further proof that less often is more.  I will tell you that this one does truly satisfy.  Chrissie sounds great and ballads like the gorgeous “From The Heart Down” strike a perfect balance… beautiful and clever lyrics… and a great title.  This is my favorite song after “Human”.

The album is definitely more poppy than rock, but it really is a great Pop record and the word Pop never scares me like it does some… Still do not get that… Well… it’s probably because now “Pop” seems to mean the machine-made, bubblegum factory, teenie Pop.  And that, mostly, is a big pile of yuck.

I am a big word guy.  I love a great lyric… an honest and deeply probing lyric.  I love a clever turn of  phrase and this whole album is well written… I totally dig the line from “Baby’s Breath”:

“I’d like to have you

Alone tonight

And re-arrange your mind.”

There are a lot of people’s minds I’d like to re-arrange!!!

AllMusic says “Since Packed! (at least), each new record from the Pretenders has been hailed as Chrissie Hynde’s return to form (praise that was thrown at Learning to Crawl, by the way), and it’s hard not to resist to say the same of Viva el Amor!, the seventh studio album from the Pretenders. So, we won’t say that, even though it may be true. At the very least, Viva el Amor! is a very appealing, focused album from Hynde and Martin Chambers, their most consistent album in years. It’s not just that the songs are uniformly good (Hynde’s writing is sharp again, without seeming bitter or jaded), it’s that the record sounds excellent — a clean, uncluttered production that enhances the muscular performances. For the first time since Get Close, there is a minimum of sentiment — the ballads are never saccharine, even when the melody is lovely — and Hynde resists her temptation for exaggerated metaphors or embarrassing phrases (even if her continuing fascination with bikers is puzzling). Viva el Amor! never provides a knock-out punch, even on the level of “Night in My Veins,” but it never lags in momentum, as many Pretenders records do. Hynde sounds committed and convincing on each song, turning the album into one of the group’s strongest.”

Thanks for the tip, D.  Really good record!


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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