Bare: Pop diva's sweet sad stories - Annie Lennox Bare

2006-03-29 18:17

In the trend-setting vocal divas league, Annie Lennox has always been the classiest pick of the pop pack. On Bare the one time Eurhythmics singer returns with her first album of original material in over a decade.

The aptly titled deeply personal and profoundly passionate 11-track song suite takes listeners on an intimate aural tour through a series of flawed and failed relationships. Does it sound like Annie is having some kind of 40-something mid-life crisis? Maybe. But as pensive, yet soul-soaring tunes such as "Pavement Cracks" and the R&B funk of "Bitter Pill" prove, this is no mere schmaltzy exploration of lost love.

On down-tempo jazzy ballads like "The Hurting Time" and the searching adult contemporary rock of "Loneliness" Lennox side steps overly sentimental tendencies, focusing on sharing the warts 'n all inner emotional experience.

Yes, mellow and hauntingly maudlin tracks like "The Saddest Song I've Got" are fragile to the point of fractured, but nonetheless bewitch in their resolute glory. If love is doomed to inevitable failure then Lennox seems to suggest that cynical clichés have no sway and that we should all celebrate the growth experience ("Wonderful"), letting the candid emotions free ("Oh God").

Pop's divine diva bares her soul on this latest all-original release - the first in ten years.

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