fb-pixel Skip to main content
Album review | POP

Chrissie Hynde, ‘Stockholm’


Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders is one of the greatest rock singers of her generation — so what is she doing making a fluffy album like this, saddled with treacly synth-pop songs? Hynde’s management decided it would be a great idea for her to collaborate with Bjorn Yttling (of Swedish popsters Peter Bjorn and John), but there are countless other musicians one would prefer to see her teamed up with. One is Neil Young, who almost singlehandedly saves the album with his guitar mania on “Down the Wrong Way,” where Hynde matches him by singing, “The truth is, I have nothing to lose.” Well, that’s not quite right. She has her rock credibility to lose — and it’s in tatters after some of the mediocre material here. Cloying songs such as “You’re the One” and “You or No One” beg for an explanation. There is some pleasant, ’80s-style pop in “Dark Sunglasses” and “Like in the Movies,” but pleasantries were never Hynde’s stock in trade. And she even enlists tennis pro John McEnroe to play guitar on “A Plan Too Far.” Say what? (Out Tuesday) STEVE MORSE

ESSENTIAL “Down the Wrong Way”