The Pretenders

Break Up the Concrete (Shangri-La)

Phases & Stages

The Pretenders

Break Up the Concrete (Shangri-La)

This is a good time to ask veteran rock stars if they have any idea what they're doing. You know, musicians who haven't put out a truly inspired album's worth of music in decades. In this downloadable world, the emphasis away from long-form album to the power of the song leads to the question: Why not take the five really good tracks on Break Up the Concrete ("Boots of Chinese Plastic," "Love's a Mystery," "Rosalee," "One Thing Never Changed," "Don't Cut Your Hair") and offer a stellar EP for download? Nothing wrong with these 11 cuts; they're classic Pretenders slam dunk. Yet the biggest critique about Chrissie Hynde's perennial rock roadster is that it's so distinctive as to be repetitive in that Ramones way, whereas with most albums, gems nestle with filler. This isn't a crime, nor even more than a mild complaint, but rather provocation.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Curtis Roush
Cosmic Campfire Music (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle