Picks and Pans Review: Savage

updated 01/18/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/18/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST


Among the variegated pleasures generated by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart is that they never seem bored or boring; they seem to delight in the unexpected. Some of this has to do with wondering what Lennox will look like in her next appearance; will it be back to the neo-Buster Keaton look of her androgynous period perhaps? More important, though, are the musical surprises that fill most Eurythmics albums. In this case Lennox growls her way through I Need a Man in characteristically sensuous, white-funk fashion, and she and Stewart set up one of their hard-to-resist synth-pop grooves on I've Got a Lover (Back in Japan). There is also an intriguing, layered track, Beethoven (I Love to Listen to), full of snatches from overheard conversations. On Brand New Day Lennox offers a modern torch song with an almost gospel undertone, as an implicit reminder that hers is a voice that often profits from, but never really needs, electronic gadgetry. I Need You seems to be a Dylan send-up: "I need someone to pin me down/ So I can live in torment." Then there's Do You Want To Break-Up?, a new twist on the relationship-in-torment theme Lennox and Stewart write about with such biting wit. What's most impressive is not that Lennox and Stewart are willing to try something new, but that they produce fascinating music in the process. More than merely something for everyone, this is a lot of terrific things for everyone. (RCA)

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