Chris Isaak has not lost his touch in the music industry. With 14 fresh tracks, Speak of the Devil (Reprise) is Isaak’s seventh album.For previous releases, Isaak wrote most of his songs at home with guitar in hand. But for this album he took a different approach. He spent his time recording the songs in a San Francisco studio, experimenting with new sounds and techniques.Isaak, whose voice occasionally has been compared to Roy Orbison’s, brings a new twist to this album. Speak of the Devil blends sounds of retro rock, instead of focusing on acoustic based sounds as Baja Sessions did. In actuality, this album returns to his older style of music, featured on albums such as a Heart-Shaped World and Forever Blue.From the beginning, listeners are lured into Speak of the Devil with tunes such as “Please”, “Flying” and the title track. Their high-spirited beats, combined with Isaak’s melodious voice, can capture anyone’s interest. His retro style continues to draw listeners in with “Wanderin’ ” and “I’m Not Sleepy.”While Isaak includes more lively songs on the album, his soothing love songs are not lost completely. “Breaking Apart,” “Don’t Get So Down On Yourself” and “Lonely Nights” offer the same emotional strain heard in “Wicked Game.” Isaak’s voice enhances the quality of each song.Throughout the album, Isaak sends listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride. Although themes of heartbreak are in Speak of the Devil, Isaak concentrates on a happier outlook on love and life. This album may not be as optimistic as Baja Sessions, but Isaak offers new tunes that stir listener’s emotions, and evoke feelings of love, pain and hope.
Isaak appears at the 9:30 Club Thursday.