Chrissie Hynde proved to her fellow Ohioans that you could get out of Akron by playing music. Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys, the other famous band from Akron) took notes. Alone finds Hynde without her erstwhile bandmates, but in gnarly and sympathetic company as Auerbach, cronies and luminaries such as Duane Eddy add crunch, swing and the sound of departing motorbikes to Hynde’s songcraft. The excellent title track is a Stonesy declaration of independence, sung-talked by one of rock’s finest voices, still a fist in a velvet glove. Not every track is a killer, but most snarl (or sweet-talk) their way into the Pretenders’ lofty canon.
The Pretenders: Alone review – crunch, swing and one of rock’s finest voices
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666