JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys, 'Fidelity' (La Mina/Rocket Science)

7
Fidelity
Critical Mass
Label: La Mina/Rocket Science

by Jon Young

Kudos to main Pretender Chrissie Hynde for changing the script: Her collaboration with young Welsh singer JP Jones feels fresher than anything she's done in years. Though Hynde has said emphatically that they're not an offstage couple, she toys with this tantalizing prospect throughout Fidelity's easygoing folk-and country-tinged tunes, sighing, "His time is tomorrow / Mine was yesterday," on the bittersweet ballad "Perfect Lover." If Jones' strangled rasp can't match her sultry authority, and a few songs feel half-written, the sweaty duet "Fairground Luck" argues convincingly that spontaneity beats careful craftsmanship.

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