Valve Bone Woe (with the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble)
Chrissie Hynde’s entry in the “rocker sings standards” genre, Valve Bone Woe, alludes to the trombone, to the earthy low-brass moan heard at the outset, on the Nancy Wilson vehicle “How Glad I Am” and the Beach Boys cover “Caroline, No.” But that’s just one element in an intriguing set produced by Marius de Vries and Eldad Guetta. The Kinks’ obscure and wonderful “No Return” is particularly well-served by a relaxed quasi-Brazilian arrangement, with subtle trombone filigree as well. Old-school ballad crooning (“I’m a Fool to Want You”) is very much on the agenda, but there are dollops of synthesizer, hints of dub (in the ending vamp of “Absent Minded Me”), backwards effects, filters, and other sonic tricks that make this outing feel true to the Pretenders frontwoman and her idiosyncrasies. The way she can spin monosyllabic words like “say” and “much” into two lets you know it’s her and only her.