Break Up the Concrete

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Break Up the Concrete
Studio album by The Pretenders
Released 7 October 2008
Recorded April 2008
Genre Alternative rock
Length 36:49
Label Shangri-La Music
Producer The Pretenders
The Pretenders chronology
Loose Screw
(2002)
Break Up the Concrete
(2008)

Break Up the Concrete is the ninth studio album by rock group The Pretenders. It is their first studio album since Loose Screw in 2002. Several "exclusive" editions of the disc exist (see track listing below); each appends a new countrified version of Pretenders' classic, in keeping with the general sound of the album. The title song "Break Up the Concrete" was used in the opening scene of an episode of House M.D. ("5 to 9", season 6, episode 14).

The first edition of Break Up the Concrete also includes a small sheet of "handmade seed paper", which can be planted, and if cared for, promise to sprout within a few weeks.

Break Up the Concrete was the first Pretenders album since 1994's Last of the Independents not to feature Martin Chambers on drums. In an interview, Chrissie Hynde said that she was looking for a different style that she didn't believe that Martin was capable of playing to her satisfaction. Session drummer Jim Keltner took his place in the studio, although Chambers would return for the tour in support of the album.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (74/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Billboard (favorable)[3]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly B[5]
Paste (8.6/10)[6]
Pitchfork Media (6.4/10)[7]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[8]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[9]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
Spin (7/10)[11]

The album so far has a score of 74 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally positive reviews".[1] Mojo gave the album four stars out of five and said that it was "looser and more organic, and a different sonic palette for Hynde."[1] Q also gave it four stars out of five and said, "It's Hynde who steals the show with her lip-curling vibrato, part Elvis, part Dusty, never more intoxicating than on the seductive 'Almost Perfect.'"[1] The Boston Globe gave it a positive review and said that the album "just might be [Hynde's] most congenial, and certainly rootsiest, collection yet."[12]

Other reviews are average or mixed: Under the Radar gave the album six stars out of ten and said it had "a few throwaway tunes", but that it was "probably the best Pretenders album since Get Close."[13] Uncut gave it three stars out of five and said that the album might be "a bargain... but the triumphs of yore tend to expose the new album's low-fi rockabilly and country strums."[1] The Observer also gave it three stars out of five and said that Chrissie Hynde was "reinvestigating her roots with some rockabilly and a Dylan vibe."[14] The Austin Chronicle, however, gave it two-and-a-half stars out of five and asked, "Why not take the five really good tracks... and offer a stellar EP for download?"[15]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Boots Of Chinese Plastic"   Hynde 2:31
2. "The Nothing Maker"   Hynde 3:58
3. "Don't Lose Faith In Me"   Hynde 2:45
4. "Don't Cut Your Hair"   Hynde 2:14
5. "Love's A Mystery"   Hynde 3:03
6. "The Last Ride"   Hynde 3:40
7. "Almost Perfect"   Hynde 4:48
8. "You Didn't Have To"   Hynde 3:09
9. "Rosalee"   Robert Kidney 4:14
10. "Break Up The Concrete"   Hynde 2:39
11. "One Thing Never Changed"   Hynde 3:46
Wal-Mart edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "I Go To Sleep" (new version) Ray Davies 2:55
13. "Both Sides Of Goodbye" (with Willie Nelson) Jackson Leap, Kim Williams 4:03
iTunes edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Tequila" (new version) Hynde 2:34
13. "Can't Help Falling In Love"   Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George David Weiss 4:03
14. "977" (new version; pre-order exclusive, no longer available) Hynde 4:03
Best Buy bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Biker" (new version) Hynde 2:34
13. "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart" (new version) Hynde, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly 3:03

UK and Brazilian versions track listing[edit]

Disc 1 – The Best of Pretenders[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Talk of the Town"   Hynde 3:16
2. "Kid"   Hynde 3:05
3. "Back on the Chain Gang"   Hynde 3:53
4. "Brass in Pocket"   Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott 3:04
5. "Message of Love"   Hynde 3:28
6. "Night in My Veins"   Hynde, Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg 3:17
7. "Don't Get Me Wrong"   Hynde 3:48
8. "Middle of the Road"   Hynde 4:15
9. "I'll Stand by You"   Hynde, Kelly, Steinberg 3:58
10. "Stop Your Sobbing"   Ray Davies 2:37
11. "Hymn to Her"   Meg Keene 4:32
12. "Precious"   Hynde 3:37
13. "Thumbelina"   Hynde 3:19
14. "Cuban Slide"   Hynde 4:33
15. "My City Was Gone"   Hynde 4:27
16. "Day After Day"   Hynde, Scott 4:03
17. "I Go to Sleep"   Davies 2:57
18. "Thin Line Between Love and Hate"   Richard Poindexter, Robert Poindexter, Jackie Members 3:41
19. "Fools Must Die"   Hynde, Adam Seymour 2:36
20. "Up the Neck"   Hynde 4:22
21. "2000 Miles"   Hynde 3:40
22. "Tattooed Love Boys"   Hynde  

Disc 2 – Break Up the Concrete[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Boots of Chinese Plastic"   Hynde 2:31
2. "The Nothing Maker"   Hynde 3:58
3. "Don't Lose Faith in Me"   Hynde 2:45
4. "Don't Cut Your Hair"   Hynde 2:14
5. "Love's a Mystery"   Hynde 3:03
6. "The Last Ride"   Hynde 3:40
7. "Almost Perfect"   Hynde 4:48
8. "You Didn't Have To"   Hynde 3:09
9. "Rosalee"   Robert Kidney 4:14
10. "Break Up the Concrete"   Hynde 2:39
11. "One Thing Never Changed"   Hynde 3:46

Personnel[edit]

Chart[edit]

Break Up the Concrete debuted at number 32 on Billboard's album chart in the issue dated 25 October 2008 and it stayed on the chart for three weeks. The album was issued with a 'best of' in a double-disc edition in the UK and charted at number 35 on the UK Albums Chart.

Chart (2008) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 32
UK Albums Chart 35

Popular culture[edit]

Disc 2, track 1 "Boots of Chinese Plastic" was featured on the popular AMC television show Breaking Bad during Walt's "joyride" scene in episode 407, "Problem Dog".

Disc 2, track 10 "Break Up the Concrete" has been used in the famous FOX television show House M.D. during the first scene in episode 123, "5 to 9".

References[edit]

External links[edit]