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Monday, October 20, 2014

Audio Beaverhausen: Annie Lennox Gets Sloppy with Nostalgia

Two of the season's most eagerly awaited albums from two of our most cherished divas go on sale tomorrow: Aretha Franklin's diva-worship cd and Annie Lennox's collection of standards. I'll review Annie tonight. (Aretha on Wednesday.)

Lennox, unfortunately, may come off a lummox in the land of standards on the album Nostalgia. Remember when nostalgia was fresh and new? An almost revolutionary genre in the '70s that Bette Midler, Manhattan Transfer, The Pointer Sisters and others built careers on? It was a delicate balance between camp and cheap sentiment, and the haters called it "decadent." Like that's a bad thing.

How much you'll enjoy Nostalgia depends on how much you think you'd love to hear Annie sing in her shower. Or at a karaoke bar. For me, this was a cringe-inducing embarrassment; almost masochistic in that sense. Though sadistic when you consider we listeners.

"Georgia on My Mind," "I Cover the Waterfront" (a song that always reminds me about my gaining weight), "Mood Indigo," "Summertime" and more are merely opportunities to hear Ms Lennox remind us why some great, iconic rock voices should not do standards. If Annie's musical choices on this album are songs she just adores, it's lost in translation. They sound cold and mechanical. Perhaps people out in the Scottish highlands will find these renditions soulful. I, for one, do not.

Even early rock numbers like "You Belong to Me" and "I Put a Spell on You" didn't click for me. That Lennox ripped off a page from the Billie Holiday songbook is not a cause for celebration. I still have to get the bad taste of "Strange Fruit" from my ears!

Play any of these songs on your bar's jukebox only if very drunk and just as depressed. Perfect downer music, just like her last album. And that was a Christmas one!

Nostalgia didn't leave me feeling nostalgic. It didn't leave me impressed. It did leave me flat, much like many of the notes Annie Lennox's voice hits herein..

1 comment:

  1. Sweet dreams are not made of on the other hand Aretha....CAN'T WAIT!