Picks and Pans Review: Boy
The Pretenders are not rushing their second album; that's good, because they're going to have to face some mean competition from, among other bands, U2. Four schoolmates from Dublin, aged 18 to 20, they play in a style that should appeal to admirers of Chrissie Hynde's heavy hitters. The music is fluid and melodic, with a haunting tone and a rhythmic pull that sucks you in like an undertow. Their guitar player, David Howell Evans, calls himself the Edge, and he smashingly lives up to his moniker. Producer Steve Lillywhite (Peter Gabriel, XTC) has mixed his elements for maximum power without sacrificing subtleties like drummer Larry Mullen's cymbal work. The LP's inventive introductions and logical song order unify it, too. Cuts like Out of Control and Stories for Boys are special standouts, guaranteed to leave any dance-floor crowd panting happily.