Release Date: 10.19.99
Record label: bmg / arista
Annie Has It Her Way
by: michael r. smith
The Eurythmics must really be hard up for money these days. I couldn't find their new release, Peace, anywhere for under $14.00! After hearing nearly half of the album sampled on the Internet (and being somewhat disappointed), I honestly questioned whether buying this one would be worth it.
Let me start out by saying that the Eurythmics are one of my ten all-time favorite music acts. I attended what was to be their farewell concert tour of 1989, just as Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart were falling out of favor with the rest of America. Back then it seemed a shame to see them go. But now, ten years have passed and you know something...their new music is obviously aging right along with them.
It is as if the only way Annie could be convinced to return to the Eurythmics fold was to change the formula altogether. In a sense, Peace could be considered Annie's third solo album. Gone is the edginess that made Eurithmics albums like 1987's Savage live up to its title and then some. Instead, we are forced to once again travel down the adult contemporary road that Annie has since paved on her own.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind Annie taking it down a notch in the 90's for her last two Grammy-nominated solo releases, Diva and Medusa. They certainly brought her the credibility and respect that she has long deserved. Songs like "Little Bird" and "Don't Let it Bring You Down" are just two of several that I hold in high regard.
But this is not supposed to sound like Annie solo--this is Eurithmics for God's sake!! Nowhere on this new album will you find Annie scream like she did on "I Need a Man" or shake her tail feather on the video for "Would I Lie to You". No, my friends, it seems that Annie's dancing, menacing and master-of-disguise days are over. Perhaps motherhood has mellowed her out, but she has opted to act her age this time around. The air has finally been let out of the big, fun Eurythmics balloon. Maybe now I can get up enough strength to say goodbye.
The duo's swan song has to be the grand, trumpeting "Forever". It is one of the few shining moments of this otherwise sluggish affair. The belabored trudging of "Lifted" and the empty poetry of "Beautiful Child" are just two examples here of two great talents simply wasting their time. Even the two upbeat semi-rockers, "Power to the Meek" and "I Want it All" could have been better. Still, it was a relief to hear those since I was bored to tears by the rest.
What made the Eurythmics so striking in the 80's was their unpredictable, chameleon-like flair. Their range was boundless and their creativity was enviable. This was NOT the comeback I had been hoping for. It is certainly not Annie and Dave at their best. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't any singles released here in the States. Maybe this time their fans will let Eurythmics...once and for all...rest in Peace.