Chris Isaak: First Comes the Night

Album review
Chris Isaak: First Comes the Night

Chris Isaak

First Comes the Night

Label: Vanguard
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Breakup songs are Chris Isaak’s bread and butter, and First Comes the Night—the pop star’s first album of originals in more than six years—is a feast of heartache and infidelity. The album is best when Isaak’s doing his twangy take on Roy Orbison, such as the defiant shuffle “Please Don’t Call,” the rockabilly-inflected “Down in Flames,” the cinematic “Some Days Are Harder Than The Rest,” and the honkytonk ballad “The Way Things Really Are.” His angst may have smoothed since 1986’s tortured “You Owe Me Some Kind of Love,” but on the catchy “Baby What You Want Me To Do” Isaak abandons his carefully cultivated ultra-cool persona to reveal a folksier middle-aged man delivering a raw vocal and spilling his guts to a loping beat stung with surf guitar and sweetened by a string section. He rocks hard on “Dry Your Eyes” and “The Girl That Broke My Heart.” But there’s a comfortable retro charm to several tracks—“Kiss Me Like a Stranger” is reminiscent of “Besame Mucho,” “Every Night I Miss You More” sports pedal steel guitar and a Western swing rhythm, and “Love the Way You Kiss Me” finds Isaak tapping his inner Elvis.

More Info

  • primary artist, Chris Isaak
  • CD

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