28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bare is Bold, Beautiful and Brilliant.
Annie Lennox has one of the most lush and haunting voices in pop music. Match that with her ability to write interesting lyrics and beautiful melodies and you get BARE in a wonderfully exposed package. After hearing this recording, it makes one wonder why it takes her so long to release new material. Parts of this cd are reminiscent of Eurythmics. But most of it is all...
Published on 6 Jun. 2003 by david kent dodson
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vert nice, but in small doses
I have always found the voice of Annie Lennox, ex of Eurythmics, fantastically powerful yet very warm and clear. So it was not difficult to immediately buy this album when it first appeared. At the end of the day I'm not certain if I like this disc or not - let me explain. I love tracks such as "A Thousand Beautiful Things", but I find that the collection of tracks is...
Published on 11 Dec. 2006 by Bernard Smith
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bare is Bold, Beautiful and Brilliant.,
Annie Lennox has one of the most lush and haunting voices in pop music. Match that with her ability to write interesting lyrics and beautiful melodies and you get BARE in a wonderfully exposed package. After hearing this recording, it makes one wonder why it takes her so long to release new material. Parts of this cd are reminiscent of Eurythmics. But most of it is all Annie solo. I belive she had the same producer on Bare as she had on Diva. So if you loved Diva, you will be equally satisfied here as well. Favorite tracks are ..Honesty, wonderful, 1000 beautiful things, bitter pill. Only one throw back and it is the last song Oh God. It is a very short almost hymn she sings that is not pop. I heard this recording on the internet and downloaded it. I will be rushing to the stores on June 10 to purchase Bare. I believe we must support artists like Annie Lennox in hopes that she will make more amazing music in the future. This CD is worth every last penny.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lennox Is Free At Last,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bare is arguably the most personal work that Lennox has every produced. It is not immediately accessible on first listen, it is a record you have to replay and reflect on; but the effort is well worth the reward. The new collection of songs will appeal primarily to Lennox purists and anyone who has ever had a relationship hit the rocks (most of us right?!).
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. Yet it is not the last song, that place is reserved for ‘Oh God’ which the album listing makes clear is a prayer; with that, the spell is broken and you are released.
The reviews in the British press have been decidedly impatient with Bare, but with the sparkling back catalogue of highly commercial hits that Lennox has, she now clearly feels freed from the chart game. This record is an assertion of that right in the face of her critics and it will surely see Lennox sweep the board at next year’s BRITS & Grammy awards.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album to keep forever,
This album contains some of the most beautifuly sung music ever. Not only do songs like Erased, 1000 beautiful things, Pavement cracks (best song on the album), the hurting time, loneliness have amazing melodies but because of her voice these songs are haunting yet beautiful. Other songs like 'Honesty' are quite complex with annie lennox singing but also with her head voice over the top. This album is without a doubt, in my opinion, one of the best albums ever written. 11/10
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return To Form,
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
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo, Ms. Lennox!,
The voice of Annie Lennox is a remarkable instrument of quiet elegance and genuine emotion. Whether in the Eurythmics or solo, Annie's voice is a crisp breeze of blue-eyed soul that never sounds forced or contrived. On her first CD of original material in, oh, a mere 11 years, Annie Lennox remains virtually unchanged, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. On "Bare," the Scottish diva takes us through a trip of Mowtown-inspired soul, warm ballads, and a few pop numbers that flirt a bit with electronica. It's a platter that offers more of the same, but it's still a pleasant and engaging trip. She makes good and strong impressions on cuts like the opener "A Thousand Different Things," the funkified "Bitter Pill," and the pained "Honestly." "Bare" is mature and mellow music that's a welcome diversion from the cookie-cutter pop that's out there. It's not as rhythm-heavy as her earlier work in the Eurythmics, but it's multitextured and multilayered enough to keep the listener interested throughout. It's reaffirming to know that some great things in pop music never change. Sweet dreams are certainly made of this.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back!,
The hardly prolific Annie Lennox returns with eleven new songs.
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grin and Bare it!,
being the eurythmics' and annie's biggest fan i guess my review will seem a little biased but i honestly don't care!Annie does have a sense of humour-similar to mine,tongue in cheek and wry.Her sound is still very contemporary and it's the pretenders to her throne that should listen and learn.what is most disappointing is the lack of commercial support for a truly exceptional album which contains at least 4 strong singles that just don't seem to be getting released!the most haunting track,for me,is honestly-i was in tears as soon as i'd heard the first line and it continues to have that effect.i'd really like to see her get best british female at the brits just to show the likes of dido that sales are no measure of quality.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Track By Track Review,
By A Customer
'1000 beautiful things' is an elegant starter with an acousitc loop.
'Pavement cracks' - the most powerful and catchy song on the album with a rocking melodie - waking up the listener.
'The hurtin time' is with nearly 7 1/2 minutes the longest song on the album - a calm, neverending, meditative flow, layers of sound and voices appear from a distance and diappear slowly into eternity.
'Honestly' is a tricky, groovy little song with 2 levels: the singer's voice and the voice in the singer's head that's singing and talking all the time and makes it hard to understand what you're singing - brilliant.
'Wonderful' is soft and sad with a suddenly whipping chorus that reminds of 'Precious' from the album 'Diva', but it is also the weakest song on the album.
'Bitter pill' is a jumping 70s party rock song, stamping like 'Sisters are doin' it for themselves', simple, direct, cool.
'Loneliness' is a song like a bright hurricane; first the deep soul of Annie Lennox's voice breaks the silence before the storm and makes you shiver, the sound rises until the shining eye of the storm and disappears again.
'The saddest song' is not the saddest song, but the most beautiful song of 'Bare' - you can hear Annie Lennox smile while she sings "This is the saddest song I've got" -, a warm lullaby like a red sunrise, a feeling like woken up by sunbeams, so beautiful you could cry.
In 'Erased' Annie Lennox gets back to rythm - with a funky piano and a slim drum machine the song gives the feel of fast walk along the road of your life, waving goodbye to memories along the road.
Bells ring in 'Twisted' and the walk becomes a swinging march, not one of the best songs, but with exciting sound breaks.
'Oh god', the last song of the album, is sung to a swamp organ by a half-hearted, disillusioned prayer who doubts that her sad prayer will change anything.
'Bare' doesn't sound like a collection of songs, it is a grown album, like the harvest of many, many years. A must for any lover of brilliant voices and timeless, classical songwriting.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant return,
What can I say? I am blown away by this album. It opens with the gorgeous "1000 Beautiful Things" (musically reminiscent of "I Saved The World Today"), where she sings of the glass being full and not half-empty.
The next track is "Pavement Cracks" which is was Radio 2's Record Of The Week and has a great little chorus which is guaranteed to stay in your head!
"The Hurting Time" is 7 minutes of a kind of jazzy/bluesy feel and the poignant lyrics always bring tears to my eyes.
"Honestly" is next, with beautiful multi-layered vocals as Lennox sings of her sadness and disbelief of her failed marriage.
Then "Wonderful", which is one of the strongest tracks on the album. The verses are typical Lennox-style self-chastisement (is that a word?), and when the song rocks into the chorus it reminds me of Eurythmics around the "Be Yourself Tonight" era.
"Bitter Pill" is very dancy, very commercial, would probably win Annie some younger fans if it was a single.
"Loneliness" shows us that Annie doesn't need Dave Stewart around to write great guitar tracks. This is my fave track from the album, with its message of staying strong through the hard times.
Then there is "The Saddest Song", another heart-rending account of the end of her marriage. This is a nice, gentle ballad that wouldn't sound out of place on "Peace".
"Erased" has a great piano intro and Annie sings of her determination to move on from her ex-husband.
"Twisted" is another beautiful track, but in a true Annie Lennox double-edged fashion, there is also a string undercurrent of pain and anger. Great lyrics - "Under a cloak of darkness, under the covers where we lay, there I spent my dreams with you, now it seems I hid them all away"
The album ends with "Oh God", which was recorded in one take and you can hear Annie's emotion just poured into it. A great end to the album.
Overal, this album is wonderful. Very mature and heartfelt. The songs flow together well - they really do have to be listened to in the context of the whole album.
If you are an Annie fan then buy this album, you won't be disappointed!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!,
I bought this album today and am ashamed that I left it so long as I have Annie's other solo cd's.
This has to be one of the best albums that I have ever heard, so much emotion poured into it.
A thousand beautiful things is just wonderful, the lyrics and melody are gorgeous and is so deserving of a number 1 record.
This is simply wonderful - buy it now!!
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