Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days (2009 Edition), Day Twenty: Why? by Annie Lennox

And now...what happens to New Wave Icons when they age....the successful ones become 'Adult Contemporary' artists.

I'll be honest--this is not how I prefer to remember Ms. Lennox. Given my druthers, I'd rather remember her as the wailing banshee of "Would I Lie To You?" and especially "Missionary Man*," when she got in touch with her inner Aretha and let herself loose. It does seem like the second she divested herself of Dave Stewart (who, let's be honest, was more interested at that point in producing rather than performing), Lennox began to slowly chip away at that image of her, shedding the harder, more rhythm-and-bluesy bits until what you got was a consistent synth-sludge designed to be played ad infinitum on 'Lite Rock' stations.

It's funny how we are as serious music fans. On one hand, we want to see our favorite artists grow and evolve--at least until that moment when they hit the kind of music we like the best, at which point we want them to freeze in place and do the same thing over and over again like a musical monkey for our amusement. Keeping that in light, I can't fault Annie Lennox for evolving into what she is now--Hell, we could have seen that this was the path she would choose when we listened to "Julia" from the 1984 soundtrack.

As a bonus, because I find her adorable (yes, I said it), here's a very shaky-cam'd Kelly Clarkson covering the same song....
*--Of course, "Missionary Man" will almost always bring memories of one of the strangest dreams I ever had. It happened when I was in college, and I dreamed I was walking around the neighborhood of Hunter--particularly 3rd Avenue--and I was being followed by The Beastie Boys circa License To Ill, who proceeded to sing a Beastie-esque version of the song. It made such an impression on me that I found myself singing the Beasties version I dreamed up in the streets.

No comments:

Post a Comment