The Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde (vocals, guitar); Robbie McIntosh (guitar); T.M. Stevens (bass); Blair Cunningham (drums).
Additional personnel: Shankar (violin); Pat Seymour, Bernie Worrell, Wix, Bruce Brody, Tommy Mandel, Rupert Black (keyboards); Bruce Thomas, T.M. Stevens, Chucho Merchan, John McKenzie, Malcolm Foster (bass); Martin Chambers, Simon Phillips, Mel Gaynor (drums); Steve Jordon (drums, percussion); Carlos Alomar (percussion, programming).
Producers: Jimmy Iovine, Bob Clearmountain, Steve Lillywhite.
Recorded at AIR Recording Studios, London; Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, New York; Right Track Recording and Power Station, New York, New York.
Personnel: Chrissie Hynde (vocals, guitar); Robbie McIntosh (guitar); Blair Cunningham (drums); Matt Smyth, Dave Reilly (tapes).
Photographer: Ebert Roberts.
GET CLOSE, the Pretenders fourth album, has its drawbacks. There are a few too many mid-tempo songs, the production is unnecessarily slick, and at least one song--the unconvincing funk put-down "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul"--simply doesn't work. Yet GET CLOSE still packs a considerable wallop. One may long for the punk panache head Pretender Chrissie Hynde displayed on the band's early records, but frankly, if she has to celebrate the joys of motherhood, we should be thankful that the resultant "Hymn to Her" is such an exquisite a bit of neo-folk rock. (Gratitude is also the correct response to guitar god Robbie McIntosh's work throughout the album, which is, as usual, utterly succinct and thrilling).
Attention must also be paid to two of Hynde's loveliest ballads: the beguiling "My Baby" and the Memphis soul-tinged "Chill Factor." A very effective cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Room Full of Mirrors" closes the album. The cherry on top is the infectious "Don't Get Me Wrong," a Motown pastiche that's probably Hynde's most consistently ingratiating tune.