Monday, July 28, 2014

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Sound Check

6/11/2014

Chrissie HyndeChrissie Hynde

“Stockholm”

Caroline

I was never the world’s biggest Pretenders fan, but I’ve always enjoyed Chrissie Hynde. This is admittedly a hefty paradox because, more than any other component, Hynde WAS the Pretenders. As the years progressed, Hynde wrote more and more of the band’s output on her own, so even though “Stockholm” is her first official solo album, you couldn’t really be faulted for lumping it in at the end of the Pretenders’ catalog. Artistically, Hynde hasn’t missed a beat. This is only her second album of any kind in the past decade, but there are no signs of rust on the body. Her songwriting doesn’t feel particularly vital or relevant, but that sexy, smoky contralto hasn’t changed a bit and continues to be worth every minute of investment. Opening track “You or No One” is probably the best on the album, at least in part because it’s the most Pretenders-sounding. CV

 

Dakota ParkDakota Park

“You Ain’t Perfect”

Independent

Dakota Park — a Des Moines-based alt-country three-piece — has an element of charm to them. All of it stems from the relationship between the husband/wife duo of Joshua and Josie Ann Sinclair. The pair harmonizes fairly well, and there’s a joy for the material that comes out on occasion that lets you understand just how much these two genuinely enjoy what they’re doing. Unfortunately, all that passion and joy is swimming in a very big pool of weak sauce. Joshua’s vocals don’t have the weight to carry as much of the album as they’re being asked to here, and the band’s lack of a bassist leaves all of the songs feeling weightless and insubstantial. Even the previously mentioned charm is often misused and more often than not gets overblown into the realm of unbearably twee. CV

Barmuda