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This song exemplifies exactly why The Pretenders work. There’s that weird mix of outward and obvious hopefulness backed by a layer of cynicism surrounding themselves. It’s calling attention to itself, then calling attention to the fact that they’re aware that they’re calling attention to themselves, kind of the Bill Murray of the music business. I hope that makes sense. Aside from the seemingly meta song lyrics, ‘Message of Love’ is overall a showcase of all the different parts of The Pretenders coming together for the sake of the song, as opposed to any individual acclaim. None of the instruments seem to be any more “show-y” than any other. This is the kind of chemistry that is lost on a lot of established bands, all the more impressive for a band that was only about 2-3 years old at the song’s writing and recording.
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