Ms. Annie Lennox has finally done it. She's come up with the goods that I know a great deal of her fans have been waiting for.
Throughout her career, Annie has played with image, gender and her audience's emotions - creating vast muscial landscapes (along with Dave, for the most part) with which people can lose themself in and really feel as if they belong. Now, as she says herself, all that has gone before has been cast aside in favour of the true, musical Annie Lennox. The songs are still about despair, hope and all that love stuff but this time they seem to mean so much more. I've always judged Annie (and Dave) by the first three tracks on an album. Do I connect with what she's saying? Does it uplift me instead of allowing me to wallow in my own self pity? The only problem I've found with her previous material is that the music somehow doesn't match the mood. I know that in some cases that's the point she's trying to make musically, but still. Give me the hook and I'm hooked. From the moment her 'backing singers' proclaim "A thousand beautiful things" I'm hooked on the lyrics AND the music. There are also echoes of previous songs and for a fan that's great. There's a link to the past and the feeling that you have some personal conversation going with Annie, but she takes it one step further and really makes me feel like her charge. She's the all-knowing matron and I'm there to take her advice and get on with my life.
Bare really is a personal journey come to fruition. This is the real Annie Lennox and by God I hope I don't have to wait so long next time to hear what she's got to say. The woman should be knighted for her services to humankind! Amen