Stewart's Gutter must be the hottest spot in musicland—it seems that the only buddy who didn't make it to his solo debut is Annie Lennox, Stewart's former Eurythmics partner. Mick Jagger and Deee-Lite's Lady Miss Kier croon in the background. Laurie Anderson lends her spooky vocal touch and electric violin to "Kinky Sweetheart," and Lou Reed adds a blustery, bluesy guitar epilogue to "You Talk a Lot."
Although Stewart and pals dig into Gutter's organic rock and roll as effortlessly as Eurythmics cranked out their cool electro-pop, Stewart has a tough time finding his own voice. Sounding positively Bowie-esque on the dirgelike "St. Valentine's Day," he makes like Major Tom crash-landing.
Still, thanks to Stewart's stellar guitar picking and crack songwriting—don't be surprised if you're humming along to these confections halfway through the first listen—he rules the Gutter. You might not even miss Annie. (East West)