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Annie Lennox Songs Of Mass Destruction
RCA / Arista September 27, 2007

Annie Lennox — Songs Of Mass Destruction (Sept. 27, 2007)

 Annie Lennox — Songs Of Mass Destruction (Sept. 27, 2007)
♣¤★     Mass Destruction is Lennox’s first album largely recorded in the U.S. (Los Angeles and Miami, as opposed to just London), giving the songs a slightly less chilly quality and a bigger, more expansive sound, but it’s still a disappointment in the same way the Eurythmics’ rock~leaning Be Yourself Tonight likely was to fans of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and Touch. “Coloured Bedspread” is a happy synth~pop surprise reminiscent of the duo’s ‘80s heyday, but it’s an Easter egg that belongs in an entirely different basket. Lennox could have taken the experimentation to lengths as heady and exhilarating as her gender~bending tricks during the ‘80s or her chameleonic music~video personas of the ‘90s by working with any number of forward~thinking producers (Jon Brion, Guy Sigsworth, or even someone like Moby, whose influence can be heard subtly on “Big Sky”). Then again, even though “Love is Blind” is driven by the same bouncy piano rhythm as many of her past hits, it’s a tried and true formula that, like even the weakest of Lennox albums, never fails to satisfy.
Born: December 25, 1954 in Aberdeen, Scotland
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Instruments: Vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar, accordion, harmonium, flute, bass guitar
Album release: 1 October 2007
Recorded: September 2006 ~ February 2007
Studio: The High Window,  Hollywood; estlake, West Hollywood
Record Label: RCA / Arista
Duration:     46:51
01. Dark Road     3:47
02. Love Is Blind     4:15
03. Smithereens     5:17
04. Ghosts In My Machine     3:30
05. Womankind     4:28
06. Through The Glass Darkly     3:29
07. Lost     3:41
08. Coloured Bedspread     4:29
09. Sing     4:48
10. Big Sky     4:02
11. Fingernail Moon     5:04
★     All tracks written by Annie Lennox, “Womankind” rap lyrics by Nadirah X.
★     Eddie Baytos — accordion
★     Mike Stevens — arrangements, additional production
★     Allan Martin — artwork design
★     Sean Hurley — bass
★     Blair Sinta — drums
★     Joel Shearer — guitar
★     Zac Rae — keyboards
★     Ted Jensen — mastering
★     Tom Lord~Alge — mixing
★     Femio Hernandez — mixing assistant
★     Mike Owen — photography
★     Annie Lennox — vocals, piano, keyboards
★     Randy Kerber — piano, keyboards
★     Glen Ballard — producer, keyboards
★     Scott Campbell — recording engineer
Weekly charts:
★     Australian ARIA Album Chart      #41
★     Austrian Albums Chart      #25
★     Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)       #57
★     Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)       #26
★     Canadian Albums Chart      #9
★     Danish Albums Chart       #36
★     Dutch Albums Chart      #26
★     French SNEP Albums Chart      #28
★     German Media Control Albums Chart      #15
★     Irish Albums Chart      #21
★     Italian Albums Chart      #3
★     Spanish Albums Chart      #94
★     Swedish Albums Chart      #26
★     Swiss Albums Chart      #7
★     UK Albums Chart      #7
★     U.S. Billboard 200      #9
♣¤★     Menacing as they sound, the songs of mass destruction gathered on Annie Lennox’s fifth solo disc don’t manage to so much as nick the gorgeous instrument she’s built her career on. Weaving artfully as ever around the contours of songs that suggest the worst ~ Lennox is world~wise and therefore maybe inevitably world~weary ~ she imparts gravity and grace in a voice as cloudless and surface~smooth as just~brewed mint tea; from the tentative beginnings of the mournful “Dark Road” to the gospel~bottomed gorgeousness of “Ghosts in My Machine,” she’s in full command of her considerable vocal powers. And it’s possible she’s never used them to such moving effect on a single record. Earlier Lennox or Eurythmics albums might have succumbed here and there to slight~seeming experiments in style, but Songs of Mass Destruction doesn’t dilly~dally. All swerves, even playful ones (see “Love Is Blind” and “Coloured Bedspread,” a synth~y song that wouldn’t seem so out of place on a recent Madonna record), are on~message: “Womankind” busts wide open not only because it needs to (a voice this big can’t be contained, it reminds us), but to demo empowerment, and the hopeful “Sing” signs off with a seconds~long African guest vocal. There’s an upside to the destruction of cultural wellness that led Lennox to write this record, and it’s artistic creation. Songs of Mass Destruction is a sterling, rock~solid, expert example. ~ Tammy La Gorce
★     https://www.slantmagazine.com/music/review/annie-lennox-songs-of-mass-destruction

Annie Lennox Songs Of Mass Destruction
RCA / Arista September 27, 2007