Pat Benatar stages comeback on Go

While many of Pat Benatar’s musical peers are drifting into the “adult contemporary” genre or rehashing decade-old hits, she continues to release original material while maintaining her rock’n’roll edge.

Benatar’s latest album, Go, marks her 13th CD since she broke into the music business in 1979.

Go proves that time hasn’t affected Benatar’s remarkable vocal range. The four-time Grammy winner can still easily slide from a smooth soprano down to her trademark raspy growl. She also hasn’t lost her outspoken nature, which is evident on the confrontational rocker, “Girl,” where she chastises women who stay in negative relationships out of convenience.

The singer’s softer side emerges on “Brokenhearted,” a haunting midtempo track that spotlights Benatar’s emotional and heart-wrenching vocals.

The CD, however, is cluttered with a few skipable songs, including the weak “Please Don’t Leave Me,” which is 5-1/2 minutes of pure whining. The track’s sappy lyrics seem out of place when sung by a woman who puts on such a strong front.

“Sorry” is another downfall for Benatar. The song combines too many musical textures and ends up sounding like a jumbled mess with no clear direction.

Despite these mishaps, Benatar rebounds by reverting back to her no nonsense attitude. The album’s highlight, “I Won’t,” is an unforgiving rant that the artist has dubbed her “anger management” song. The guitar-driven rock number examines a shattered relationship with lyrics such as, “How does it feel to be hurt/ It’s gonna get worse/ It’s gonna get ugly, I swear.”

In case her point wasn’t already clear enough, Benatar goes on to repeatedly chant, “I’d rather die than love you” during the chorus. Ironically, this spiteful anthem was written by her husband and lead guitarist, Neil Giraldo. He wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks and also produced the record.

Go is not likely to win over many new supporters, but longtime Benatar fans will definitely be pleased with her latest effort.

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