Chris Isaak - Mr Lucky

2009-05-25 10:11
Mr Lucky
And not much else has changed, either. Like some others who've recently returned to the scene after some years in the wilderness, Isaak isn't trying to reinvent himself as much as return to the scene, doing what he does best.

And what he does best still works better the sadder your story and the lonelier your heart. Like the opening "Cheaters Town". It's still made for radio - well, late 80s, early 90s radio, with pensive verses, and triumphantly miserable choruses: "You lied to me, you lied to me / You opened up your little black heart and you lied..." Mr. Lucky - perhaps to justify its title - includes a couple of annoyingly cheerful tracks like the very retro, flimsily bouncy "We've got tomorrow". But thankfully the first lyric of the next track, a soppy duet with country girl Trisha Yearwood, opens with "Just another day without you". That's more like it, Chris. And his colab with Michelle Branch is another sweetly sombre affair. Later on, "Very Pretty Girl" is wonderfully menacing. Even when he sings about renewal, you can't help imagining you're hearing traces of irony.

Yes, this is a collection of new songs that sound like covers of classics would after being filtered through some sort of gen-X, David Lynch psychology. This is a top-up for fans, not a revelation, and not disappointing either.

It's definitely a reminder to pick up one of his earlier classics - like Wicked Game (1991) - from the bargain bin, and give it another reassuring spin. Because no matter how lousy you imagine you're feeling, Chris Isaak is always feeling worse.

It’s hard to say if the fact that Chris Isaak sounds so much like Elvis is a curse or a bonus, but it's certainly something he's still not scared to play up when it comes to his hairstyle, which remains gelled into that peaky mound-y coiffure at the front.

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