Home Read Classic Album Review: Chris Isaak | Always Got Tonight

Classic Album Review: Chris Isaak | Always Got Tonight

The singer-songwriter stays in his Orbisonian comfort zone on his eighth album.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Lately it seems that Chris Isaak spends more time in front of a TV camera than behind his guitar. But even though he’s changed his career path, he hasn’t changed his tune much on his eighth studio album Always Got Tonight.

Like the rest of his albums, this dozen-song document is basically an exercise in retro-popabilly songcraft, with Isaak conjuring up the ghosts of Roy Orbison, Rick Nelson and the Everly Brothers with his operatic falsetto, tremolo-drenched guitars and bittersweet odes to being burned by love’s flame. Here and there he fleshes out the tracks with contemporary beats and effects, but most of these cuts — especially the jangle-twanger American Boy, his sitcom’s theme song — will seem as warmly familiar as an old episode of Leave it to Beaver. Still, even though Always Got Tonight is pretty much a rerun, it’s an episode worth catching.