Friday, November 16, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 76: Annie Lennox - Bare

Album - Bare
Artist - Annie Lennox
Key Players - Annie Lennox -Vocals and keyboards, Stephen Lipson - guitars and programming, Peter-Hohn Vettese - keyboards and drums
Produced By - Andy Wright, Annie Lennox and Stephen Lipson

Release Date - June 10, 2003

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Mostly due to her new
solo album I wanted to go back and re-listen to some of the older releases.

- This is the third solo release from Annie Lennox. Lennox, first climbed to fame as the "buzz cut red head" of the Eurythmics. Lennox has gone on to much larger things. This album would be nominated for a Grammy Award as "Best Pop Album" in 2004. She'd lose this, but win an Academy Award for the song "In to the West" from the Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King. The song would also win her a Grammy and Golden Globe.

The album cover
- On the back of the album/cd there is a paragraph from Lennox about the image she chose and why. In not so many words. "This album contains songs that are deeply personal and emotional. In a sense I have 'exposed' myself through the work to reveal aspects of an inner world which are fragile..broken through experience but not entirely smashed. I am not a young artist in their early twenties, I am a mature woman facing up to the failed expectations of life and facing up to "core" issues. I don't want to represent myself as some cliched air brushed, saccharine kind of way. I want to reveal myself as I am. For me this is a powerful and courageous statement. I have never been known to "toe the safety line". She continues. As an artist I need to be authentic, take risks, break the mould when necessary. More..the false eyelashes represent the artifice of "performance" and the color has been drained from my mouth (where the words and sounds issue from)

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The listener is immediately reminded, or shown the smooth and soulful voice of Lennox on the lead off track "A Thousand Beautiful Things". The track is awash with acoustic guitars and light keyboard work. Lennox is the sole voice and the harmonies are overdubs but very pretty. "Pavement Cracks" was released as the first single off the album and begins with piano and just Lennox with a very "breathy" vocal delivery. The first verse is done in the same matter before the track picks up. It actually gets pretty "rocking" with a little flashier guitar work but it never strays from the vocal point...the vocals. The longest track on the album (over 7 minutes) "The Hurting Time" begins with a harmonica sounding keyboard line, much the same is the follow up track ""Honestly" which honestly is one of her shining moments on an already great album. Lennox never has a voice waiver, you can tell she is really focused on her message and the underlying chorus/verse that she sings the harmonies over is a great touch. (see the download). Canned drums open up "Wonderful" and upon listening this could be, and should be a big wedding song. It was released as a single but didn't do much here in the States. The reason it is probably not a wedding song is that at about the half way point the band kicks it up a notch before setting back to the piano, guitar lead verses. Still, a pretty song that is overlooked. "Bitter Pill" is a more uptempo track and is a nice change of pace. All the tracks have their strong points, but this was a good time to put in a more uptempo number. Its nothing you'd work out to perhaps but its a little quicker than other tracks. "Loneliness" is another strong track. Lennox seems to push herself a little more, and again, we get a little more of "loud track". Again, its not fast or heavy but the drums hit down with a little more authority on this track, which is a nice touch. . "The Saddest Song I've Got" follows and crisp vocals surround you. It has a powerful title and you want to to be the saddest song you've ever heard as well. Its sad, its moody but I think she feels better now that she has sung it. The piano and guitar open up "Erased". The track slowly swells and Lennox is off the chart on her vocal range. After the verse the track kicks up more with a more driving beat. "Twisted" has a more dance feel to it than the other tracks, but at the same time, nothing you can really dance to, if that makes any sense. The album closes with the dark and somber "Oh God (Prayer)". A confession of sorts? A plea? The listener is left to wonder and decide. Sort of a bummer album closer, but based off the theme it fits.

Where are they now?
- Lennox continues to write, record and perform live. Her latest solo album just recently released called
Songs of Mass Destruction. She did a tour for the album (albeit short) and has said her desire is to now make a dance album.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have not seen her live. There was a chance to catch her in Boston just a few days ago, but it was the same night as the Police. Bummer for me.

FDF Overall Take
-Lennox has a wonderfully powerful and soulful voice. The bulk of the tracks on this particular album are not overly up tempo, but each has prefect place on the album. After hearing the album its no wonder her critical acclaim has grown stronger. Not sure what is taking the rest of us to catch on. Her second album called "Medusa" was a collection of cover songs that is also a good listen. Heck any of her albums are great.

Her official page is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*****MP3's Removed December 27, 2007 4:13pm ET*****

Pavement Cracks

All three tracks taken from "Bare" which you can buy here

Also if you linked to this site, or were directed check out the Main Page for this site and you can see and get the last few weeks worth of FDF mp3's.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 5:13 PM, Blogger Hotwire said...

love her - her voice is haunting!

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Ello said...

I absolutely adore Annie Lennox - ever since I heard Sweet Dreams way back when. But for some reason, I don't remember this album! I'm going to have to listen to it and see if I should get it. I have Diva, but not this one. I must have been in a bubble or something! So will you review her new album too? I haven't heard anything off of it and am very interested in what you think.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Casdok said...

Shes wonderful.


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