OH MY! This is a real treat… though deemed a walk down a jazzier path, this 2nd solo outing from The Pretenders lead vocalist is far more than that. As Chrissie Hynde says in the liner notes, “… jazz is something I grew up around (thanks to my bro) and I’ve always had a soft spot for it.” Me too (thanks to my Dad)! Chrissie goes on to say “Jazz got sidelined by Rock & Roll in the 60’s, but now the demise of rock seems to be heralding in a newfound interest in it, the most creative and innovative musical forms of the 20th century. I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon.” Me too… ‘How Glad I Am’ she did, but I wouldn’t say it’s jumping on the bandwagon, or even following the winds of change.
On this 2 record set, I feel that Chrissie is following her own path, and grabbing on to all kinds of inspiration along the way. Yes there’s jazz… Mingus’ ‘Meditation on a Pair of Wire Cutters’, and Coltrane’s ‘Naima’, both instrumentals, but there’s also Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Hello, Young Lovers’ where Chrissie’s voice comes and goes like the wind through an atmospheric piece of electronica, and unique interpretations of The Kinks, Nick Drake, The Beach Boys, and Charles Trenet’s ‘Que Reste-T-il De Nos Amours’… light the torch for that one! I can’t imagine anyone not liking this, even the rock and rollers waiting for the next Pretenders album, it’s Chrissie’s voice and Chrissie’s attitude that make this album!
I was drawn to this, because it’s Chrissie Hynde, but also because of her cover of the beautiful ‘Wild is the Wind’ that both Nina Simone and David Bowie covered to perfection, in my opinion! As for this version… well, Chrissie Hynde is the Wind!