Annie's Sad - I'm Delighted; Bleeding Heart ... but Annie Lennox Is Redeemed by Her Soaring Voice
Byline: Tim de Lisle
Rock music, usually so good at bringing people together, still hasn'treached the point of treating male and female performers alike. Boys form bandswhile girls go it alone - often with a team behind them of mostly malemusicians, songwriters, producers and managers. Women in music, Annie Lennoxsaid last week, have 'a totally different experience' from men.
Her own career first broke the mould, then slipped into it. She originally hitthe charts as the singer in a band, the Tourists.
Then she fronted Eurythmics, the best male-female duo rock has known. But for15 years now she has been solo, apart from a brief Eurythmics reunion.
Solo means more in her case than most.
At 52, she makes no bones about being single following her divorce from thefather of her two teenage daughters. And ten of the 11 songs on her new albumare written by Lennox alone, which is highly unusual.
To listen to any of her records, even the covers album Medusa, is to feel youare getting to know her. A singer who has adopted dozens of guises in the pastnow presents herself with what appears to be utter sincerity. Which meansplenty of sad songs. On her last album, Bare (2003), there were tracks calledLoneliness, Bitter Pill, The Hurting Time and The Saddest Song I've Got. Thistime there's Dark Road, Lost, Ghosts In My Machine, Through The Glass Darklyand Smithereens.
Some of her troubles are personal, others political. A veteran campaigner forliberal causes, Lennox knows it can be a drag when pop stars give lectures, butgoes ahead anyway. The lyrics could be roughly summed up like this: 'Woke upthis morning, thought about climate change again.' She gets away with it bybeing unmistakably serious. At Live8, she shone in distinguished companybecause she clearly knew what she was talking about, and felt it, andchannelled that feeling into the music.
Here too, her bleeding heart is redeemed by her soaring voice. …