|1. A Thousand Beautiful Things|
|2. Pavement Cracks|
|3. The Hurting Time|
|6. Bitter Pill|
|8. The Saddest Song (I've Got)|
|11. Oh God (Prayer)|
The album opens with the sparkling wistfulness of ‘1000 Beautiful Things’. Next is the first radio single from the album, ‘Pavement Cracks’ which stands out as the showpiece, that demonstrates that the power of her voice is as awesome as ever. The only thing to surpass it, is the live version and that can be found on the DVD of the solo tour. Next up is the gentle lazy soul of the ‘Hurting Time’ followed by ‘Honestly’, a beautifully layered double vocal arrangement on top of a hypnotic rhythm. While ‘Wonderful’ is a gentle massage that Lennox pushes deeper and deeper into the listener. The most up-tempo song ‘Bitter Pill’ is a deliciously funky track that is crying out to be remixed as a club anthem. ‘Loneliness’ is a track that leaves the listener spinning as if drunk, but if you take time to read the lyrics it makes sense; again Lennox requires the listener to work for their reward. A track that commands its own haunting space on the album is ‘The Sadist Song’ which leaves you feeling like you are standing in the middle of an Icelandic glacial lake. But there is no time for sentimentality, as the ferocious ‘Erased’ jumps from the record with the roar of old ‘I’ll just erase you from my memory’. The penultimate track ‘Twisted’ is a luscious close to a hypnotic 50 minutes.... Read more ›
The music and lyrics may be different, but there is nothing new here. Fans of Annie Lennox will buy and love this work, but it's merely a continuation of what she does (and to be fair - what she does best).
I'd be interested to hear some new production styles. Okay - maybe Timbaland or The Neptunes may be going overboard, but I loved how the Insects subtley revitalised the fabulous Alison Moyet's latest work on Hometime. Some of the production here is really dated - which has it's nostalgic charm in places - but overall it comes across sounding like Diva and most of the Eurythmics work. The gorgeous opening of the funereal "Pavement Cracks" is stunning, though I cringe slightly when the beat kicks in. It is too familiar and too Annie Lennox.
Annie has never sounded so good though. The fragility of "1000 Beautiful Things", soaring vocals on "Wonderful" and the mournful lament of "The Saddest Song" highlight why Annie Lennox still holds here place in the world of music today. Her voice is perfect on every song.
The tone may be one of love lost and love thrown away, but it's not all maudlin ballads - there are a few 'rock' numbers than the mostly pessimistic track listing suggests - "Erased" in particular.
Three stars seemed a little harsh, a four seems a little generous, but the world is a better place with Annie Lennox in it, so four stars it is.
This has to be one of the best albums that I have ever heard, so much emotion... Read more
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