When it comes to the divas I follow and the music I love, give me a solo female artist any day. I like The Go-Gos and The Bangles for their hits but I’m in awe of the solo music of Belinda Carlisle and Susanna Hoffs who create better music on their own. Cher came into her own once she left Sonny. Tina Turner found her way once she fled Ike. They never needed the men in their lives to start with because they were the true talent all along.
So when I heard Chrissie Hynde was branching out from The Pretenders and coming out with an album all her own, I was sold. No need to say any more, I just needed to know when I could get my ears on it. I downloaded it this past weekend and I was not disappointed. Once I heard the first note out of her mouth, I realized just how much I missed her distinctive voice. You know when Miss Chrissie Hynde is singing. I don’t know how this compares to the albums she did with The Pretenders (since I only know their hits) but standing on it’s own, Stockholm has me hooked.
The album starts out strong with “You Or No One” which is a modernized version of the old-school surfer movie title soundtrack. “Dark Sunglasses” keeps the rock/pop beach sound going. “Like In Movies” showcases her voice in a tough but sad song. “Down The Wrong Way” seems to be a nod to the rock styling of the likes of Tom Petty but done better than Tom Petty could ever hope to do. Chrissie sings a haunting love song on “You’re The One”, moves into a more southern rock sound on “A Plan Too Far”, and then into a song about the fragility of love on “In A Miracle”. With “House Of Cards” she makes me sway, takes me to church, and does something I love in a song which is takes a break to talk. “Tourniquet (Cynthia Anne)” is the weakest song on the album with singing that wants to be a cappella but is backed by music that is often disjointed and sounds like a high class door bell. She does bounce back with an anti love song called “Sweet Nuthin'” and wraps the whole album up with “Adding The Blue” which paints a beautiful picture with it’s lyrics and music.
Over all, in my gay opinion, this album tells an intriguing and deep story with each song. Chrissie’s voice is strong even when soft and thankfully never apologetic. I’ve listened to Stockholm quite a few times now and each time I find something new to appreciate. My only complaint is that she didn’t come out with a solo album sooner. My fingers are crossed for a tour to support the album because I’m so there!