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9. Pretenders

Viva El Amor

  • Warner Brothers

The group's first new studio set since 1994's Last of the Independents is a rock-solid return to form, loaded with first-rate fare such as the harp-wailing taunt “Popstar,” the gutsy ballad “One More Time,” and the revealing “Human,” all of which feature some of Chrissie Hynde's finest vocals ever. Thankfully, she's lost none of her acerbic side either. Hynde wrote 10 of the disc's 12 cuts. And when she sings “Why did you send me roses?/Save it for someone's death” in the hook-filled “Baby's Breath,” there is no mistaking the far-from-flowery intent.

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