Review: Chris Isaak – First Comes The Night (Vanguard / Universal Music Canada)

Chris IsaakAt a time when so much of the music we hear lacks any kind of soul, along comes Chris Isaak to restore faith and balance in the universe. As a pop crooner who admittedly worships at the altar of the Sun Records catalogue, First Comes The Night finds Isaak in impeccable form. Kicking off with the wistful title track, romance (or the souring thereof) remains a central theme to Isaak’s work, best exemplified on tracks like “Please Don’t Call,” “Kiss Me Like A Stranger” and “Reverie.” Some of the record’s finest moments, however, come courtesy of Isaak breaking the mold on what is expected of him, introducing Tejano-inspired rhythms on “Don’t Break My Heart” and “Perfect Lover,” while on “Down In Flames,” he contemplates mortality with a sardonic sense of humour. Now more than three decades into his career, Chris Isaak delivers one of the year’s best efforts.