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Record Rack:

EURYTHMICS "We Too Are One." Arista ** 1/2:***** Great Balls of Fire:**** Knockin' on Heaven's:*** Good Vibrations:** Maybe Baby:* Ain't That a Shame

September 17, 1989|KRISTINE McKENNA

This, Eurythmics' eighth LP, is their first album for a new label so it's getting a massive marketing push and will probably be a big hit--despite the fact that it pales in comparison with much of their earlier work. A slickly produced synthesis of pop and R&B motifs, "We Too" finds Annie Lennox in excellent voice as always, and her techno-wiz sidekick Dave Stewart packages the material with imagination and skill (an elaborate composition called "Sylvia" sounds like "Sgt. Pepper"-era Beatles). But all this is icing on a fairly flavorless cake; in the end, pop music stands or falls on the strength of the song, and the 10 songs here just aren't that interesting.

Sides 1 and 2 kick off with barn-burning numbers--"We Two Are One" and "Revival"--evocative of Eurythmics' 1986 hit "Would I Lie to You," but that's pretty much it as far as dance tracks. The remainder of the album is given over to mid-tempo ballads with cryptic lyrics about unhappy people and bad relationships.

Considering the high drama obliquely hinted at in the lyrics, and the record's big, ambitious sound (lots of grand orchestral passages), this is strangely unmoving music. Lennox can belt out a gospel tune with the best of them, but she comes off here as a bloodless ice princess just going through the motions.

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