Songs Of Mass Destruction
REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/17/2007
Yes, Annie is doing all she can here to bring the issue of AIDS in Africa to the fore, but America has been rendered immobile by all the causes out there competing for our attention and help. We’re in the middle of a stupid war, Annie, or have you noticed? The subject of the Middle East alone has been causing enough apathy, without adding the plight of Africa into the mix.
Apart from “Sing,” there are plenty of other morose, downbeat material to ponder over on Songs Of Mass Destruction, Annie Lennox’s fourth solo album. Titles like “Dark Road,” “Through The Glass Darkly” and “Lost” are just what the manic depressives of the world have ordered. It's dark, gloomy and simply perfect for those of us who seem to get more out of music like this than any amount of time spent in a psychiatrist’s office. If anything, much of this record could be used as an adjunct to one’s therapy. I’m not kidding.
But like our moods, the music here is ever changing. When the upbeat numbers kick in (and there are more of those this time around), the emotionally-charged lyrics give the listener a moment of freedom and catharsis from their melancholic burdens. Hearing Annie break free at the end of “Love Is Blind” when she recites “Tired of being down on luck, tired of being beaten up, tired of being so screwed up” lets you know that Annie means some serious business.
She then proceeds to take things to the next level on “Ghosts In My Machine” (think “Take Your Pain Away”) and “Womankind” (think “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves”). Many of the other songs are the type of gauzy fare we have come to expect from the former Eurythmic. Personally, I could do without hearing another “Why” retread. Nevertheless, ballads like “Smithereens,” “Big Sky” and “Fingernail Moon” are also there for the taking. Undoubtedly, Enya and Dido fans will find that kind of relaxing stuff appealing. Call me old school, but I’ll take “Little Bird” and even “Coloured Bedspread” (dumb titles, great songs) over that other boring stuff any day.
Oh and by the way, Glen Ballard of Alanis Morissette fame produced this album, which is, by far, Annie’s personal best thus far. Look out Grammy Awards, here she comes.