Friday, May 23, 2008
No. 500: Touch
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Despite not having two of the band's biggest hits, "Touch" is Eurythmics' strongest record.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The record isn't great. I could think of a lot of other albums to sit in this spot.
Best song: "Here Comes the Rain Again" is brilliant.
Worst song: "Aqua" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: Nah.
Annie Lennox had something of a solo career in the early 1990s with her album "Diva," wherein she sang tons of easy listening-type songs. The album's videos were a mainstay of VH1 back when VH1 was a place for AAA music and not a repository of over-the-hill celebrities acting like children for five more minutes of fame.
I bring "Diva" up only because that was my first exposure to Lennox. I wasn't aware of Eurythmics when I was a lad. For whatever reason -- my parents' listening habits tending towards the Beatles, our not having cable until I was 10, etc. -- I never really knew about the band until way after knowing about "Why" and "Walking on Broken Glass."
There's no question that Lennox has an amazing voice. Her low register croon is decidedly feminine, despite the androgynous qualities it has. "Regrets" is her best exercise of said voice on the album, while "Here Comes the Rain Again" is an amazing tale of unrequited love. "Who's That Girl" is straight synth pop with David Stewart bringing fine drum programming and even finer synth work. "The First Cut" is a genre-bending funk track, though the piece falls a little short of great funk.
It's overkill, I'm sure, but there's no question this album is a product of the times. Elecro pop is fun, but it's hardly timeless. Lennox' voice is fantastic, but Stewart's production is layered and cool. It also sounds like the 1980s.