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Songs Of Mass Destruction - Annie Lennox

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Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: Annie Lennox / Audio CD released 2007-10-01 at RCA Label Group

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    2 Reviews
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      22.09.2009 04:26
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      Fantastic!

      Well, this being my 200th review!! I thought I would choose something which has some real significance to me. And so have chosen to review my favourite artist Annie Lennox and her album "Songs of Mass Destruction". The album was bought out some time ago in October 2007. It has 11 tracks, 10 written my Ms Lennox, less one (Womenkind) written my Nardirah X. On one CD there also includes the video to Dark Road and Annie Lennox herself talking you through her album. Well worth it if you are a fan or at all interested in what the music is about. It was her forth album and includes the singles Dark Road and Sing. The latter written and co-sung with many women from Africa as well as other female pop singers (including Madonna, Anastacia, Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Celine Dion, Dido, Sugababes and many others) to help raise funds for the prevention of AIDS in Africa with a programme called Treatment Action Campaign. The album was written and released at a time where there was war around in many places. I think a big bulk of the album is in response to that, but not only and not forgetting, the war and conflict we carry within ourselves and within our individual relationships. I like this album as it makes me think, reconsider and appreciate. Simple messages which so often are overlooked and by-passed in this day and age for the next biggest and best thing. In the same list as on the album, I will now review each track, sorry everyone- this review is a long one! there are 11 songs and I wanted to cover each as fairly as I could and I did try to be brief! ********************************************************** Dark Road. Now this was released shortly before the album. I heard it, it spoke volumes to me and still is a favourite track. To me it describes the way depression works with Annie's normal 'bang on' approach. The lyrics speak about a relationship. A person who leaves the door open for someone to come in, but at the same time, once bitten twice shy individual in yourself can also be hard to get close to. Realising that the person you want does not want you back, does not really feel what you feel. But its deeper then that. The "broken" individual breaks into a explosive chorus of "Can't find the charm within my soul, its just sadness taking hold...it takes strength to live this way, the same old madness everyday...I want to learn to live again" which to me describes the way depression can feel. As if your so lost in the endlessness of it all, the broken relationship that's hurt deeply, yet the one thing that helps so much, is someone coming along to help. It's a catch 22, when you need what is not available to you, yet if you were able to change that pain, you would no longer have that same need. ********************************************************** Love is Blind is more of a bouncy track, with some of the original angst in! Regarding the huge drive we can all get which keeps us wanting something which sometimes we cannot have. Maybe someone who is not so good for you. The irritation of waiting for someone to realise what you feel- that they are meant to be with you, the wait, the longing and the frustration; "Wipe my eyes, dry my tears, wait for you for a thousand years...can't you see that I'm addicted to the notion of a someone who can take me from this mess I'm in...tired of being so screwed up" Good tune to belt out after realising regret- a real sing with me tune! ********************************************************** Smithereens is a tune which took some time to grow on me, a slow tune. The melody is not so easy to find and more of a listening tune then a stronger sing to tune or similar. Essentially it's about the fragility of everyone's feelings. And an apology to someone for saying something hurtful, regret. But more then hurtful, something that was so harsh it tore someone apart. Into Smithereens. "we are only human behind the mask...everyone has a tender heart, I didn't mean to break it down smithereens". A sweet song, but when sung the way I saw on youtube, with the passion and life Annie Lennox gives her performances really makes this real. You can really hear the beg for forgiveness in her voice within this song. ********************************************************** Ghost in My Machine is one of my favourites on this album. A lively blues type of tune and essentially is talking about the past issues, past experiences that sit at the back of our minds and impact on how we deal with things to some. The baggage each and every one of us own. I love the lyrics "woh come and take this pain away...I've seen too much I know too much I hurt too much I feel too much I dread too much I dream too much I'm caught up with the ghost of my machine...I'm bruised and battered by the storm, can't find a place to call my own... I'm haunted by the ghost in my machine" This song makes sense to me on so many levels! But to Annie, I think it's about wanting an old relationship that has been over as the final lyrics are "I still want you baby, guess I always do". Hear this song once, I challenge you to not either agree or sing along! ********************************************************** Womenkind is a song which was sung in part with Nardirah X who raps on the song halfway though- apparently Annie says she had intended on doing that part, but her daughters put her off! The song is great, lively and a pro-women song which starts off with the realisation that maybe the person you had wanted was just not for you, the desire to be with someone who wants back as much as you want them and the need to change how things are for the better. ********************************************************** Through the glass darkly is another song that grew on me over time. A slow tune again, but not without some real strength. It's about looking at life in a different more serious way. Looking at things how they are- without the rose tinted glasses. "When I'm with you the days are bitter sweet, I still can't remember what it feels to be complete". It's the moment in a relationship you wake up and smell the coffee. The coolness (or cold chill) to realise that things need to change. The words "still can't remember what it feels like to be strong" make it seem as if it's been a long time coming. Its bitter sweet, as the song describes. A sweeping melody with a touch of the blues and melancholic drive. A bit like how things feel when you realise that a relationship or scenario is no good for you anymore and things can no longer stay the same, and that they have to change. ********************************************************** Lost is another grower! I now think this song is so beautiful. On the surface, it would seem to be about the war. The "planes in the night" the "beating of drums" are all taken from scenes of war. They are painful reminders of how another side to humanity has to live. But taken from a new perspective- and giving me a new appreciation of this song, the melody also can apply to how we can feel in ourselves, when it can feel like us against the world- again, very fitting for a description of depression. The planes in the night, Ms Lennox describes as being from actual Wars where planes would fly overhead which would terrify people who could hear them coming and see their lights- were they good or bad? If you were to run out in front of them waving, would they drop bombs or food? The same with the drums and marching of foot steps- good or bad soldiers, there to maim and kill or to help and feed? Though I don't want to distract from the tragedy that is war, which is horrific and very saddening. But if used carefully, the same descriptions can become metaphors and similes for depression: the lights of a plane a kin to people- lights indication peoples focus on you. There to help or to cause pain? It sounds very ego-centred, but the way depression works is that its so difficult and so hard to see though, you feel so isolated, even when surrounded by many people, so you have to play your cards carefully- you have to be self centred to survive it as it feels if you are not looking out for you, no one is. You're the one who feels the pain. It's a game of survival, you know the pain wont kill you, but your aware that you could. It's as if the smallest thing could just tip you too far over the edge and you may not be able to pick yourself back up again- as if your strength has all gone. The footsteps and drums, akin to people arriving in your day, there to listen or there to judge, the drums emphasising your heart- the loneliness and heart pounding as if asking for something and someone. The chorus starts "We're lost" which describes a how a battle of depression can feel, but also how we stand in a world of war, where everything just seems to go on endlessly. War that never ends, a destruction of mankind. It's a very sad melody, with a slight touch of a lullaby to it. As if this were to replace a lullaby where as oppose to singing about the wonders of the world to a small child, you can only bring it the reality of the world, the pain and suffering and death being so great it's in ignorable. ********************************************************** Coloured Bedspread is very obviously about sex and is a song about passion and all the wonders that happen on a coloured bedspread. Its a lively grasping sort of song, simple melody with a bit of synthesiser lyrics added.- I'm not too fond of that but its passable, though without them, (and with a chorus singers perhaps?) the song would have been far better off. Still a fair track though. Only Annie Lennox could write a song about sex and only sex and get away with it- few if any other singers would get the same appreciation-its sophisticated sex and raw passion at the same time, tastefully done. ********************************************************** Sing was the anthem written to sing for the AIDS charity, it involves 23 other well known singers who in their own right are famous. The song itself is very much a sing-along song but on the heavy side- it's a good beat, but not a "happy go lucky" melody. It works well, combining the two cultures and you can imagine the African women standing in a group singing and dancing to this- they have their own coda at the end which does sound a little odd but is good at illustrating the women fighting for themselves in their own country- not waiting for hand outs. It's a warming image. ********************************************************** Big Sky is a song which I like the lyrics of. It sounds a bit nonsensical at first. But to me, it sits well with the many times I feel fate or luck or the heavens (or anything else you can think) works against me. Not just the butter side down but the train that somehow took off early and left you late for the interview you worked so hard to place or the very vital appointment that were forced to miss which you had waited 8 months for. The things that happen beyond your control, when you get in touch with that first bout of pure anger, that's when I look upwards and think out loud "thanks for that" in a sarcastic tone and bid to get my own back somehow. The first words in the song are "Big sky, I'm gonna hurt you" and the song, sung with gusto and strength illustrate exactly how annoyed I can feel when I am in that situation. Its a slower song again, but with a great chorus. To Annie, it's a bit more serious: she is writing about the death and destruction she sees around her in the war torn countries she visits. But for similar feelings, looks to the sky with anger at the situation around her. ********************************************************** Fingernail Moon is not one of my favourite tunes. It's quite melodic, bit too slow and I lose interest. Many state this as their favourite track on reviews in papers and etc, but for me, it's the weaker one of the group. It does stand alone from the others, mainly as its one of the few written in a major key as oppose to a minor or modal key (for those musicians out there).

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      • More +
        23.11.2008 21:57

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        Buy it if you like to listen to someone sing from the heart

        Another amazing album from Annie Lennox. She maybe not as chart popular as she used to be but she certainly knows how to write what we are all feeling. Her voice is as amazing as ever, there is so much depth and emotion that she puts the rest to shame. The songs themselves are really good. From the opener Dark Road which was written when Annie was driving through L.A. and she the homeless people living on the street, abandoned, with nowhere to go. Smithereens is another excellent track and Ghosts in My Machine is just stomping. My favourite tracks are Lost and Big Sky, and SING is ok, it was just a pity only Madonna got a verse to herself, but then with 23 females singers there is only so much you can do with a 4 minute song. Overall this album shows why Annie Lennox is so highly regarded, it's just a pity that she takes her time releasing material.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Dark Road
      2 Love Is Blind
      3 Smithereens
      4 Ghosts In My Machine
      5 Womankind
      6 Through The Glass Darkly
      7 Lost
      8 Coloured Bedspread
      9 Sing
      10 Big Sky
      11 Fingernail Moon