Picks and Pans Review: Be Yourself Tonight

updated 06/10/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/10/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT


Annie Lennox can still, when operating in the right mode, sound like the world's sexiest computer. But this LP, full of happy surprises as well as predictable successes, shows she can be a good old rock 'n' roll girl too. A good half of the album sounds like very dynamic, sophisticated '60s rhythm and blues, with the Charles Williams Singers and Angel Cross adding backup vocals that acknowledge the old ooh-aah groups without parodying them. Stevie Wonder shows up to add one of his lyrical, unmistakable harmonica turns on the urgent, funky There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart). And Aretha Franklin teams with Lennox on what ought to be the new women's anthem, Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves, a charged, sexy paean to independence. The rest of the album includes a duet with Elvis Costello on Adrian and a model techno-pop cut, Here Comes That Sinking Feeling, where the slightly mechanical tone fits exactly with the message of the song which is about someone trying to analyze an emotional disappointment with logic. That's terrific stuff. In the case of this album, though, it's the neo-R&B that makes you 1) sit up and take notice and 2) leap up and dance around. (RCA)

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