Friday, November 18, 2016

121. Eurythmics - Touch

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The original album  cover art design shows  Annie Lennox wearing a mask with hands clasped and her wrist  folded so that her cusped fingers  are facing her forehead. 

I flipped that image  top to bottom and  left to right and both,  and placed  them against each other so that a set of clasped  hands are set together with another from
an opposite angle and direction. The multiplication resulted in complexity but the idea was to emphasize the image of the clasped hands.

An image of clasped hands is a symbol of unity but when those two hands belong to the same person it denotes independence, isolation or even selfishness. It's another
meaning if the person in the image is looking out towards the viewer. The complexity turns to the meaning of the word "touch."

Here's Annie Lennox with hands clasped and fingers cusped - and looking out towards the viewer . . .

Annie Lennox by Brian Aris, from Blender Gallery

Annie Lennox on the cover of Bare, from Zortam Music

. . . and here's yet another one.

No. 221, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000; No. 492, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 

Art direction by Laurence Stevens, cover design by Andrew Christian & Laurence Stevens, photography by Brian Aris.
Album produced by David A. Stewart. RCA 1983.

A doctor friend of mine who was working in a sanitarium for the mildly insane told me about a card one of the patients made for Mother's Day. "To my mother," it read,
"who has always been just  like a mother to me."  Funny?  Perhaps, but chilling, too — an oddly mordant  comment on the distinction  between what we call something
and what that something really is.  The difference between saying  "I love you"  and actually loving  someone can be sharp indeed,  regardless of our best  intentions or
feelings.  It is a distinction with which Annie Lennox seems only too familiar.  "The language of love," she sings with brutal elegance, "has left me broken on the rock."

The heartbreak of language — inherent in  the difference  between  words and actions — haunts Touch,  the brilliant,  if erratic, new Eurythmics  album.  But for all of
vocalist-songwriter  Lennox'  semiotic  perambulations,  Touch relies  more on instrumentalist  Dave Stewart,  whose synthesizer  work is thankfully  free of the blowsy,
ersatz-Motown touches that  dominate other British technopop.  Instead, Stewart incorporates textures that span Western music, from Seventies pop to chamber music.

Nowhere  do Lennox' and Stewart's  talents meld more stirringly than on the surging ballad "Who's That Girl?, " a clear heir to the irresistible "Sweet Dreams  (Are Made
of This").  Stewart's synthesizer  summons the pulsing of a string quartet,  while rapping out stuttering,  stick-in-your  head harpsichord fills.  Lennox' luscious phrasing
evokes both  eroticism and anguish  ("The language  of love slips  from my lover's  tongue/Cooler than ice cream  and warmer  than the sun"),  culminating  in a chorus
of Spectorian power and  simplicity  that asks,  "Who's  that girl/Running  around with you?"  "Who's That Girl?"  is Revolver rock,  Eighties  style:  appealingly  melodic,
lyrically intriguing and truly inventive all at once. Review by Christopher Connelly for Rolling Stone

(A) Here Comes the Rain Again - Regrets - Right by Your Side - Cool Blue - Who's That Girl

(B) The First Cut - Aqua - No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts) - Paint a Rumour

"Who's That Girl" live from EurythmicsVEVO on YouTube.

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