The critics savaged Annie Lennox's sophomore effort when it first came out, and it's easy to see why: it's not that an all-covers album was a bad idea, but she did pick some rather large shoes to fill and she did kind of run roughshod over the songs themselves, taking gritty material by the likes of Neil Young and the Clash and turning it into super-slick electro-pop ear candy. But on the other hand, candy sometimes really hits the spot, and Lennox's rendition of "No More I Love You's" by the ultra-obscure British pop band the Lover Speaks is ravishingly, heartbreakingly lovely. Those who have never heard the Clash's original version of "Train in Vain" might not find her version as objectionable as the critics did, either. But there's no arguing with the critics when it comes to her anemic take on the Al Green classic "Take Me to the River" or her equally numb rendition of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down." Those who have given up on looking cool, however, might find themselves able to enjoy her gentle arrangement of "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Don't pay full price for this, but snap it up if you find it in a bargain bin somewhere. ~ Rick Anderson, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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