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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional song-writing
I'm surprised by some of the views expressed here. Maybe some reviewers listened to the album just once and gave up on it; it disappointed me, too, on first listening, but it quickly grew on me, as some of the best music does, and now I consider it one of the best albums I've ever heard. The music is rich and complex, with fantastic melodies, and I would say there's only...
Published on 12 Dec 2007 by Phil

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best
As an avid Annie fan, this sadly is not her best. Has a few note worthy songs including Dark Road and Sing. Not as great as Medusa or Diva
Published on 9 April 2010 by Mr. Marius M. Jennings


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional song-writing, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Phil (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
I'm surprised by some of the views expressed here. Maybe some reviewers listened to the album just once and gave up on it; it disappointed me, too, on first listening, but it quickly grew on me, as some of the best music does, and now I consider it one of the best albums I've ever heard. The music is rich and complex, with fantastic melodies, and I would say there's only one weak track ('Sing' - and even that has a good chorus). Lennox's voice gets better and better: the vocals on the eerily atmospheric Through The Glass Darkly (for me, the best track), Smithereens, Womankind, and Big Sky are just stupendously good.

What distinguishes this from many other artists' work is the quality of the song-writing: the chord changes are so sophisticated, and there are many layers to every song, so that you hear something new each time you listen. (Rarely true of every single track on an album.) If you like your music raw and imperfect, you might find it over-produced, but in my view the production only enhances the quality.

So would this album would appeal to you? Well, if you liked Lennox's previous solo albums, then probably it would; musically, it isn't a departure from the past. Like me, you might find it an album you're unlikely ever to tire of.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some grand songs about worldweariness and strength, but an uneven album, 15 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Not only the title of Annie Lennox's new album - her fourth solo release in 15 years - reflects the Scottish singer's increasing political activism in recent years. The songs themselves bear the brand marks of recent social tragedies and her growing disillusionment with humanity: 'Sing' - on which she is accompanied by 25 female singers from Beth Orton to Madonna to Dido to the Sugababes - sends a clear political message for better prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus (she has also set up a website for the cause: annielennoxsing.com). Other songs seem to reflect her politics in a more subtle way. The post 9/11 fear of terrorism and the accompanying sense of social alienation find expression, for example, on 'Lost' - the best track on the album by far - where "the sound of the planes in the night", "those murderous drums" and "the marching of footsteps" resound to unsettling effect. Something menacing seems to lurk in 'Smithereens', too - the very title recalls the damage of lives blasted apart - "It seems that you / have cause to worry / It seems that you / don't wish me well."

Yet in spite of the gloomy subject matter, the mood is surprisingly defiant and strong. The paths she presents are not just dark roads or of ghosts trapped hauntingly in her machine. Already on the opening track, she announces proudly "I look at that open road / I'm gonna walk there by myself". Also, unashamed romanticism surfaces on 'Coloured Bedspread': "We make the stars collide / I touch the planets / Through your eyes". With Glen Ballard producing at the helm - of Alanis Morissette and Dave Matthews Band fame - the sound is softer and more MOR than has perhaps been the case with Lennox in the past. But he is restrained enough to let her huge voice (which is as passionate and full of throttle as always) take centre stage.

I have to say that some of the tracks, however, don't work for me. 'Sing' has very well-meaning political intentions and the African AIDS crisis certainly needs as much attention as possible, but as music the song is, for me personally, pretty unlistenable. Its clarion call to the sisterhood to unite ("C'mon my sisters now! / Sing loud and sing proud!") recycles the most clichéd banners of 1980s feminism; its approach is somehow embarrassingly outdated ("What won't kill you will make you strong, yeah!"). 'Womankind' is another example of a rather out-of-fashion sound and lyrics: "This is for the womankind / Check it out!", she sings. But one song in particular lifts itself effortlessly above the occasionally patchy material: 'Lost' is a genuine masterpiece. The personal and political are intertwined to brilliant effect on this emotionally transparent ballad. Its politics circle in the orbit of emotion and not the other way around, culminating in Lennox mournfully wailing "we're lost" in the sweeping refrain. Having portrayed the cruelty in the war-torn world and her revulsion from the direction that humanity is taking, Lennox ultimately sees the darkness streaming not only from outer causes but also from within. The cathartic power and grand emotion of 'Lost' is sure to deafen out any critical voices on this very welcome comeback.

Best tracks: 'Lost', 'Dark Road', 'Smithereens', 'Fingernail Moon', 'Through the Glass Darkly'
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars annie lennox songs of mass destruction, 22 Sep 2007
By 
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Beautiful, fantastic.I bought the album on the new single 'Dark Road', so impressed and can confirm it's the best album I've bought in a long time.

I've always found Annie's voice amazing, and the song writing has always been top notch. However (you may disagree) I was disappointed with 'Bare', it didn't consist of the come back and listen factor.

I got to 'Fingernail Moon' (last track) on 'SOMD' and wanted more, much more.

Just listen to 'Love Is Blind' continuing to 'Ghosts In The Machine', great stuff. Annie is back and better than ever (not a duff track). Got to listen to 'Through The Glass Darkly', absolutely beautiful.

Thanks Amazon for putting the whole video for the first single on-line for all of us to enjoy. She's a blessing on the vocal world, all I need now is for her to come to the Cambridge Corn Exchange (Annie I hope your reading)!

Best Annie in ages, now time to collect the Eurythmics and Annie back catalogue.

97% out of 100%
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searingly emotional with a soaring voice, 26 Oct 2007
By 
Martin Milner "martin_milner" (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Songs of mass destruction

Has it been a dark road that has carried Annie Lennox all the way from the new wave pop of the 80s Eurythmics to a stellar solo career? Well there may have been some somber moments and dark corners but Songs of Mass Destruction (SOMD) in spite of its somewhat depressing and prophetic title, offers a lot of variety, the whole encapsulated in Lennox's beautiful, soaring voice. Many commentators rightly state that this is the best instrument in the piece.

SOMD opens with the single, Dark Road, which amply demonstrates Annie's range. It is dark but at the same time rich in tonal quality and provides the listener with an indication of the quality still to come. If you love Annie's voice, you will love Dark Road and Through the glass darkly.

Next comes Love is Blind a joyous piece of pop that Annie belts out and which also includes a very enjoyable rap.

Then, getting a little deeper into the tangled and powerful emotions that surround a breakup comes the slow burner "Smithereens." At first it seems like a less interesting track but then begins to grow on the listener with repeated listens. It is now a favourite.

Ghosts in my machine kicks the tempo back up again and has an infectious chorus that the listener wants to sing along to, addresses imperfect humanity, which is a general theme of the album overall and leads to Womankind which flies the feminist banner high, again offers a slice of rap and is something that you will want to or can't help singing along to, whether man or woman!

Through the glass darkly is a soaring ballad that underlines the pain of emotional despair and fully showcases Annie's wonderful voice. Many have said that the album is worth its price for this track alone. Lost is also powerfully sung and has become one of my favourites on the disc. I love the layered vocals and the high notes that Annie reaches.

Sing is OK and is similar to a chant with African accents and an announcement at its start that the song has been created to support a charity trying to prevent Mother-Child transmission of AIDS/HIV, a worthwhile cause to support. Annie's voice outshines and outpowers the chorus of "equals."

Big Sky is a big interesting ballad and Fingernail Moon rounds the set off in a reflective frame of mind having a very relaxing feel to it and adventuresome lyrics.

Annie has done a good job in SOMD and I am looking forward to her next.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some things just get better and better . . ., 1 Oct 2007
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Upon seeing the video for Dark Road, I feared Annie had gone really middle of the road in a bland bid to court American approval at the expense of innovative and exciting experimental songwriting . . . but oh, I was wrong!

Dark Road improves with each hearing, as does all of the album, and emerges rapidly as an excellent opener on all fronts. That said, it only hints at the gems that lie ahead.

This album is undoubtedly Annie's most cohesive and enthralling solo outing. Upbeat songs such as Ghosts in My Machine and Love is Blind conjure the vibrant and enthusiastic multi-layered harmonies of the 'Oh Brother, Where Art Thou' soundtrack; a welcome blast of excitable blues which, rather than being mere pastiche, is nothing short of exhilarating. Yes the American influence is there, but goodness she makes it all her own. These tracks seem to pick up where 'Would I lie to you' left off, but with less angst and more joy. Such complex overlapping harmonies indeed characterised some of the finest Eurythmics moments, notably the Sweet Dreams album, for example (listen to the last minute or so of 'The Walk' or 'I Could Give You A Mirror' and you will see what I mean).

It is a rare and precious thing to be able to say that on any Annie Lennox album, the finest instrument will always be her voice, and here it is put to exceptional use. New producer Ballard steered the project magnificently . . . Annie's voice blasts with more power at times, yet is somehow smoother and not once abrasive. While Lipson's previous productions hailed some fine moments, there was a slight lack of cohesion that could jar with some listeners as tracks changed. Here, production is so finely tuned that even when the tempo and style changes dramatically, it all falls into place and feels like it belongs. It's more confident and willing to take risks. Alive and kicking, actually!

Elsewhere there are gentle moments. The song 'Lost' is beautiful indeed, pushing to the full heights of Annie's enchanting vocal range, particularly at the end. Imagine the classic Diva track 'Cold' being fused with her Two Towers song 'Into the West' and you will get an idea of the sophistication, intensity and range. One feels it is only a matter of time before it features in the programme of the same name in a moving montage, somehow.

Smithereens is a good song, but on the first few plays seems to be the weakest on the disc - closest to middle of the road. It is dramatically outshone by the other ballads - Through a Glass Darkly, Big Sky (which boasts a verse vocal as brilliant as Shara Nelson in her finest hour, alongside a chorus that is reminescent of Texas) and the quietly intoxicating closer, Fingernail Moon. These showcase true mastery of the intimate ballad, and draw close to some of the tracks on the previous and often beautiful but less energetic 'Bare' CD (that disc's opener, 1000 Beautiful Things, announced a new playfulness in Annie's ballads). One has the sense that this artist has really refined her craft further, and the result is an effortless splendour which seems to gush forward from wherever the marvellous 'Why' originated.

The most trumpeted song of this CD is bound to be the future single release, 'Sing'. In Live Aid style, it boasts a choir of leading female singers such as Madonna, Dido and even rising star Martha Wainwright - another great talent. All voices are unified by Lennox's harmonies but only Madonna gets a verse of her own. Perhaps easily dismissed on first hearing, the catchy chorus soon engages and is in great danger of being overplayed, particularly as it carries an important political message.

Annie and former co-creator Dave Stewart have inevitably been haunted by pressure to create another 'Sweet Dreams' - the song that propelled Eurythmics into worldwide success. 'Coloured Bedspread' may be such a song, albeit of a more serene and ecstatic nature. From the outset, the synthesized aural landscape suggests something momentous, something that would set clubs alive. In this form, it isn't a dancefloor thumper, but it is liable to become so if given an ingenious remix or two. As it is, the track seduces like thick honey, with warming and intimate vocals which even surpass the legendary 'Why'. Like a mischievous lullaby, it lures you into its silken trance and you cannot help but smile, because not only is Annie back, she is on her best vocal form ever. The intense beauty of Annie's ethereal high notes often amazes in live performance, but probably have never been captured quite so well as on this beautiful song. To many, it could well be a revelation.

This time around, it is so obvious that Annie knows her craft from the inside out and is ready to reclaim her place on top of the mountain. She has always delivered fascinating lyrics, but sometimes albums have veered awkwardly between styles and moods. Now it feels cohesive and utterly dynamic, glued with superb production and what feels like spontaneous joy in the creative process. Indeed, one has the feeling that La Lennox may well be laughing during those moments when she is really tearing into the song. It is just so free.

Just when we thought she might have mellowed a little too much, Annie has stormed back with a better disc than ever - even reaching to a rap sequence on the catchy 'Womankind', a track that definitely improves with each hearing.

I only have one complaint . . . The birth of a new CD is also the dawn of a new wait for the next gem. Still, those hours are going to be all the better with this disc to enjoy!

I suspect the deceptively titled 'Songs of Mass Destruction' will attract a new army of fans and bewitch existing listeners as it scores on every level. Annie may have depicted herself as 'Little Bird' in the past, upon previous CD 'Bare' seeming naked and raw with scorched wings. Here though, we meet the Phoenix rising from the ashes, utterly inevitable. Utterly improved by a greater ability to have fun and experiment, yet also with accumulated knowledge and respect for the amazing instrument that is her voice.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long wait is over... Annie only gets better!, 29 Sep 2007
By 
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Best thing Annie Lennox has done. (and I don't through that around easily, being a life long eurythmics fan) her performance on this new disc is transcendent, evolved, polished, clear and passionate, there is an emotion she invokes lyrically and vocally; a philosophy, an intense intimacy, penetrating and relatable, all encompassing and utterly personal simultaneously. Musically very energetic, full of soul (naturally), authentic, highly danceable to most tracks, especially Ghost in My Machine, Womankind, Coloured Bedspread, Sing... You can decide which songs are best, for they're all fantastic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, 9 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
As an avid Annie fan, this sadly is not her best. Has a few note worthy songs including Dark Road and Sing. Not as great as Medusa or Diva
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly a dark road - I need more time to find the light., 22 Nov 2007
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
Listening to "Dark Road", the opening track of the album, I thought it was amazing. The lyrics were intelligent and instantly stirred something in my soul, and the music perfectly captured the mood. However, once I began listening to the rest of the album, I slowly became slightly more and more disappointed.
While it cannot be denied that Annie has an incredible voice, this is nothing without songs to stand up against it. Although the majority of the remaining tracks failed to grab me in the same way as "Dark Road", I am still holding out hope for learning to love SONGS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

"Fingernail Moon", the closing song, is my other favourite. It seems that Annie has put her two best songs at the very beginning and the very end of her work.
"Smithereens" is also a good song - the opening to it features beautiful piano and the lyrics are strong.
"Womankind" is the next notable song. It is more upbeat than the others that I have listed, so there seems to be more energy to it along with perhaps more hope than some of the others.

While I would not say that this is a bad album, I cannot find it in me to say that it is sensational either. Maybe with time I shall learn to love some of the other tracks, but at the moment there are only a handful that have struck a part deep within me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Lennox, 7 Nov 2007
This album needs an enhanced star score - perhaps 100 stars by this scale is more fitting.

Annie Lennox is the best of the best. The Womankind track is just the ticket. This CD has everything - plus some. Loved the Diva - Medusa albums, etc. Songs of Mass Destruction delivers on all scores, background information, authenticity and heart. Like the best red wine this has a rich flavour and fabulously different tracks, hitting all the right notes.

I love it - a beatiful combination. Thank you Annie for the lovely music. You and your music are heavenly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through The Glass Darkly, 11 Jan 2012
This review is from: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Audio CD)
I will be honest and say when I first listened to this album from start to finish I felt somewhat disappointed. I loved the steady build of first single 'Dark Road' but after hearing the rest of the record the whole package felt out-of-place.
What is interesting about this record is that is a 'grower not a show-er'. After my first few listens I'm ashamed to say I placed this CD on the shelf and didn't go back to it for almost a year later. When I did, something clicked and songs started to mean more and I began to pick up on different things I had missed before.
Annie has always been a great lyricist but excels on SOMD to the degree that you could read the lyrics separate from the songs and enjoy them just as much. Vocally she is on top form and overall the album feels more consistant that the previous record 'Bare'.
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