Monday, January 19, 2009

A Sister with Soul

If you have not heard of Annie Lennox, well that’s...just....sad. I think most people have seen her or heard of her from her days in Eurythmics and I bet you all the money you have in your pocket that you’ve listened enchanted to her voice and wondered who was singing. Perhaps this song might jog your memory.

If you’re intrigued and want to know more, read on.....In brief, Annie Lennox is a Scottish-born singer, who went from lead singer of the Eurythmics to successful, Grammy winner singer/songwriter cum diva. If you want to know more about her bio this Wikipedia article.

My opinions on Lennox can be summed up quite simply that music-wise, she’s like a musical goddess on earth. (Now I think about it, she could easily play a goddess in a movie. She has the regal, other wordly look down). Anyway for one thing, she can sing. Describing her strong, smoke and honey voice is beyond me, Rolling Stones named her as one of the greatest singers of all time, and I think Rob Thomas (another genius) describes her best:
“Anybody my age turning on MTV and seeing Annie Lennox sing 'Sweet Dreams' —
that was enough right there," says Rob Thomas. "There was something so soulful
in the way she sang songs like 'Walking on Broken Glass.' " Lennox combines a
childhood love of Motown with an operatically powerful voice — crystalline in
tone, yet sultry. She introduced R&B to New Wave with Eurythmics, and in her
solo career, she invented a sort of New Age soul, based around shimmering
synths, horn blasts and, most important, layer upon layer of that voice. "Annie
is amazingly versatile," says Thomas. "She can sound like a beautiful angel — or
she can make it sound like she's gargling glass. A great singer is somebody who
makes you believe what they're saying, and you always believe Annie."

When I listen to Annie Lennox sing, her voice takes you places. When she sings the first line of “Why”, you fly with the notes. She delivers her lines in ways which make the hair on my head stand on end. One thing that disturbs me about some of the popular singers of today is that they don’t sing very well. Again I’m not the best judge, but I know what I like, and some of the “singers” around right now are uninspired, uninteresting and occasionally just plain irritating. (Yes Rhianna, I’m talking to you) Truth to tell, some of them are okay performers (though I don’t think that justifies their popularity), but Annie portrays emotion amazingly. It is mesmerizing to watch her. I defy anyone to watch her video for “Love Song to a Vampire” (high on my list of my favourite songs ever) and not get the appropriate chills.
People talk about Madonna being able to give a good performance. I think Annie’s up there with her.
Her music, her style, her expressions invoke deep emotion, shadowy corners, painful beauty, the supernatural and mystery. Just listen to her Diva album and you'll see what I mean.
On top of all that, reading her article on Wikipedia taught me something new, as I only just
discovered that’s she’s written a lot of songs. I’m just a big fan of chicks who write and perform their own stuff, (yes, I adore you too Sarah McLachlan). It suggests versatility, intelligence and that when she sings, she knows what she's singing about.
If there’s any songstress out there who deserves all the accolades she’s received and who deserves quite a few more, it’s Annie Lennox. She embodies musical genius, class and depth in all of her work. I ask only that she keeps singing from her soul.