Saturday, June 6, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: ANNIE LENNOX - AN EVENING OF NOSTALGIA (DVD)
Lennox has made the transition from pop star to diva smoothly, and last year made the Nostalgia album, classic Great American Songbook covers. This is an intimate concert of the songs, with the cameras up nice and close, and all the bells and whistles put on for the DVD. Given the 40's vibe, Lennox even goes through some costume changes, including a strutting around the stage decked out with a huge headpiece made of peacock feathers. Look, I know those things were once all the rage, but it looks kind of creepy; there should be disclaimer that no actual peacocks were hurt during the making of the film.
They certainly went all out for it, with a big orchestra and back-up singers, and the audio production lovely. The strings sound especially wonderful on September In The Rain and You Belong To Me. Unlike the many wanna-be's, Lennox does have the commanding voice to pull off this material, and a unique one. Certainly she sounds like no other, and there are a few wow moments where she will give you goosebumps.
Many of the songs are classic African-American blues and jazz numbers, from Billie Holiday (Strange Fruit, God Bless The Child, Summertime). Ray Charles (Georgia On My Mind) and Duke Ellington (Mood Indigo). She doesn't always seem suited to these, given the subject matter, and her upbeat personality. But she's confident, and you know she's doing it because they are both great and important songs, and she does them justice.
For the old fans, Lennox goes back to the pop days for the encore, four hits including Sweet Dreams and and Here Comes The Rain Again. But for these, the band leaves the stage, Lennox going solo at the piano. She owns the crowd and has reclaimed this material for her own, and this new phase of her career.