The Pretenders: Viva El Amor

Pretenders: Viva El Amor

Pretenders: Viva El Amor
Label: Warner
Release Date:1999
Review Date: 2000

If you haven’t seen the VH1 Storytellers performance with the Pretenders, watch for it. If you haven’t bought the latest Pretenders record, don’t. Well not if you’re visiting this web site. The first track Popstar is actually really strong. Vintage Middle of the Road era Pretenders. You’ve gotta give props to Chrissie, after all she did give Sid his trademarked padlock which he always wore around his neck. She almost married him for Christ sake. If you’re trying to connect with the Pretenders first two records, not surprisingly, it’s not here. Popstar sounds almost bitter at times. I’m sure Chrissie is a bit miffed at being absent from the top of the charts for some time. You would be too if you had such a killer voice and talent. The problem is, if you want to be popular with the kids you gotta be young and alternative, or a crappy prefab r-n-b act. The Buzzcocks can be out of touch and still make an interesting record. Maybe the Pretenders don’t want to be popular with the kids. Chrissie has seen two band members overdose, fired and made up with Martin Chambers, given birth, and gotten divorced. What does she need the kids these days for? We don’t even want most of them here at this web site. Viva El Amor is half filled with enjoyable b-sides, the other half is forgettable. Chrisse still has her wit, sarcasm, and voice, but I’m giving this record to my mom. She’s at least 10 years older than Chrissie, but she’ll listen to it. In the mean time, I’ll be watching for reruns of the Storyteller appearance. If you’re not familiar with Storytellers, the featured group performs for a live audience and takes time in between songs to field questions and offer a little background about the numbers. The Pretenders appearance is pretty entertaining. It also makes Chrissie seem like she might be a bit of a pain in the ass to work with.

Viva El Amor – C

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