PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Everything But the Girl

MUSIC REVIEWS

share trip hotel discount screen sharing trips

Everything But the Girl-Like the Deserts Miss the Rain (Rhino)

It is rare for a band to take as complete a musical right turn as Everything But the Girl did in the mid-nineties.  They had put together quite a reputation in a decade of recording as a thinking man's smooth jazz ensemble.  Tracey Thorn's wistfully gorgeous vocals were wed to the melodic perfectionism of Ben Watt's arrangements. 

Three events transpired to force the group to reconsider everything it had previously believed, and replace its lusciously creamy tunes with a more sterile (but still undeniably affecting) modern dance beats.  One thing that brought about the change was that Thorn was approached to front the otherworldly electronica confection "Protection" (included here) for trip-hop innovators Massive Attack.  The second was that band mastermind Ben Watt was diagnosed with an extremely rare and painful immune system disease and came incredibly close to death.  The third thing that happened was remixer Todd Terry took an overlooked year old jazz-pop single called "Missing" and gave it surprise electronica dance makeover.  This reexamination made the song a huge international hit.  

After that, most of Everything But the Girl's music moved in this direction.  This stylistic split can be best heard in one song, a lovely take (in the native Portuguese) of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova classic "Corvocado" which was recorded for the AIDS charity album Red Hot and Rio.  While the song has Thorn's softly murmured vocals over a sweet jazz background, about a minute into the tune a thoroughly modern dance beat asserts itself... slowly at first and eventually taking control of the track. 

I have to admit that while I enjoy and respect the newer tunes, I prefer the more human vibe of their earlier work.  With the exception of their first international hit, the impossibly beautiful "Each and Everyone" and a few album tracks, most of the sixteen songs (or twenty if you get the limited edition version with a bonus EP) come here from the post-beats era.  This is especially odd since they have only released two studio albums of new material in that time (though Watt and Thorn have also released some remix projects under the band's name.)  

Listening to this disk, one can't help but wonder, where are such vital earlier singles as "Apron Strings," "The Night I Heard Caruso Sing," "I Don't Want To Talk About It" and "Driving?"  Despite these omissions, what is here is an amazingly consistent group of songs.  There is the cosmic trip-hop vibe of "Tracey In My Room" and the jazzy sophistication of "Rollercoaster" and a gorgeously sparse cover of Elvis Costello's weeper "Almost Blue."  Like the Deserts Miss the Rain gives short shift to EBTG's early years, but otherwise it's a wonderful collection.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 25, 2003.

RETURN TO RECORD REVIEWS MENU

Taylor Swift schedule

Copyright 2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 25, 2003.

 LEGO Brand Retail