Touch

Eurythmics

RCA, 1983

http://eurythmics.com

REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/19/2007

Talk about an album that’s well balanced.

This third effort by synth-pop duo Eurythmics had three hits, three other standout tracks and three mediocre songs. But six out of nine isn't half bad -- at least, Rolling Stone didn't think so, as they named this effort to their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. 

While I am relieved that Eurythmics made the cut, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) should have been the one chosen. Too late now, though. At any rate, Touch is a sensible choice and a fine listen.

To begin, “Here Comes The Rain Again” is the epitome of cool perfection. Annie Lennox conveys a sense of dread with her weapon of choice -- her amazing voice. Her strong, masked image on the album cover only adds to the sadomasochistic tone. Or, if you want to hear a song that will really make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, just give “Who’s That Girl?” a spin. This single may not have gotten to No. 1 like Madonna’s hit of the same name, but it certainly has a longer shelf life. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album’s other memorable radio-friendly song, “Right By Your Side” finds Annie and Dave going tropical on us. Not only is it atypical of their usual style, it almost feels like it belongs on another album. It seemingly comes from out of left field (or in Eurythmics’ case, another planet), which is why I like to describe it as a salsa number from Hell.

In another standout moment, on “Regrets,” Annie sings “I’ve got a delicate mind…I’ve got a dangerous nature.” That line seems to sum up the entire album, and we are seduced into believing every single word she says from then on. David A. Stewart’s production is equally impeccable throughout, especially when it comes to his clever blending of multiple genres. While “Regrets” combines jazz with industrial, “Cool Blue” marries techno with reggae. 

The one song that doesn’t quite work is the gurgling “Aqua,” so it is no wonder it was quickly relegated as a B-side. Basically, it is a song about pain that is painful to listen to.

Annie Lennox was always at her best when she threw herself into sinister mode, and there is plenty of twisted material to savor on Touch. Only when Annie switched labels would she be forced to tone her image and music down. In doing so, much of her personality was diluted and the intensity was completely washed away. Granted, in the world of rock gimmicks don’t always work, but as Boy George in reverse, Annie Lennox took gender bending to a whole new level.

And though it was only for a brief period of time, the world loved her for it. This album is one of the reasons why.

Rating: B+

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© 2007 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of RCA, and is used for informational purposes only.