CD Medusa [Annie Lennox]  (CD 7045845),
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Medusa [Annie Lennox] 
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 790193
Personnel: Annie Lennox (vocals, flute, keyboards), Tony Pastor (guitar), Kirampal Singh (santoor), Judd Lander, Mark Feltham (harmonica), James McNally (accordion), Marius De Vries (keyboards, programming), Peter-John Vettese, Andy Richards, Matthew Cooper (keyboards), Doug Wimbish (bass), Dann Gillen, Neil Conti (drums), Pandit Dinesh (tabla), Louis Jardim (percussion, bass), Stephen Lipson (programming, guitar, keyboards, bass), Danny D, Steve Sidelnyk (programming).
Recorded at The Aquarium. Includes liner notes by Annie Lennox.
"No More `I Love You's'" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. MEDUSA was nominated for Best Pop Album.
Eurythmics' Annie Lennox made her solo debut with 1992's lavish, self-descriptive DIVA. MEDUSA, her second release, takes a different tack. By recording an album of cover songs, Lennox gets to do what she does best--interpret lyrics and deliver the dramatic impact of a song. By abandoning DIVA's extravagant production, Lennox returns to the synth-pop sound that made her famous, giving MEDUSA a much sparser feel. "No More `I Love You's'," originally recorded by The Lover Speaks, benefits from this approach. Arriving at the dreamy, other-wordly lyrics with a child-like naivet, Lennox immediately gets to the point, sounding at once innocent and frightened, then understanding and compassionate. The same sense of tension that made Eurythmics so interesting can be found here: cool synthesizer hooks and repetitive vocal ostinatos pitted against Lennox's soaring vocals, which provides a fascinating dichotomy. Similarly, The Clash's "Train In Vain" gets a sophisticated, mature treatment. This time, a jazz/hip hop element is introduced, countering the often desperate lyrics with slick grooves and sassy, Motown-inspired production. In lesser hands such an approach might destroy the songs' sense of urgency; Lennox, however can convey these feelings without raising her voice, giving the song new possibilities.
Annie Lennox's solo debut, DIVA, enjoyed tremendous success, spawning two hit singles ("Walking On Broken Glass" and "Why") and selling millions of copies. But Lennox has always been far more than a pop star; she's also possessed of a riveting alto and a unique performance style that made her one of the most compelling vocalists of the 1980s and '90s. These latter qualities are particularly highlighted on DIVA's follow-up, MEDUSA.
For MEDUSA Lennox tackled a batch of well-known cover tunes, bringing her distinctive vocal stamp to songs by Al Green, Paul Simon, the Temptations, and the Clash. The album's single "No More I Love You's," from little known British popsters the Lover Speaks, is one of the highlights, as is her take on Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain" and Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale." The music here doesn't bear much resemblance to the Eurythmics' underground new wave, but this polished, professional pop shows an artist in full command of her instrument.
Rolling Stone (4/20/95, p.70) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...The songs on MEDUSA are fine showcases for [Annie Lennox's] wistful, understated elegance, her ability to milk a lyric for all its beauty and poignancy without resorting to histrionics..."
New York Times (Publisher) (1/6/96, p.C16) - Included on Stephen Holden's list of the Top 10 Albums of `95 - "...fiercely intelligent and beautifully sung, and the material is consistently fine..."
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BMG (distributor) 790193
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