Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Pretenders' Pirate Radio boxed set is as spotty as you'd expect, coming from a band whose reputation is almost wholly based on their first album. Nevertheless, I'm glad the latter discs reacquainted me with a few songs, such as the '95 live acoustic version of the obscure "Criminal." Apart from a cliche-ridden, place-holding second verse, the song is a wholly devastating dissection of a busted relationship. And Chrissie Hynde's wounded vibrato is the kind of tight close-up you wish more dramas would give you. Or maybe not; maybe it would be too painful to have to witness that kind of thing on a semi-regular basis.

Anyway, nothing on Pirate Radio is as bad as the stuff on the last disc of Bowie's last box.


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