Pretenders

The Isle of View

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Essentially, Isle of View is the Pretenders' "unplugged" album. Chrissie Hynde runs through 15 of the group's songs, from hits like "Back on the Chain Gang" to more obscure numbers like "Lovers of Today." Occasionally, she is backed by a string quartet, including on a drastically rearranged (and poorly conceived) "Kid," but the the strings aren't as effective or startling as the piano of Blur's Damon Albarn on "I Go to Sleep." Even though it features a number of reinterpretations of some of the Pretenders' greatest songs, Isle of View is one of the group's lesser efforts, simply because there aren't any new versions here that surpass the originals.

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