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Annie Lennox at Lisner

By Stephen Brookes
The Washington Post • October 27, 2007

Annie Lennox has come a long way in the past three decades. She's remade herself again and again into everything from synth-pop goddess to sultry chanteuse, and sold close to 80 million records along the way. And now, at 52, she's at the top of her form, delivering hard-driving, powerhouse singing with a voice that still defies categories -- and seems only to have ripened with age.

lennox2WEB.jpgShe doesn't tour much, though, so her appearance at Lisner Auditorium on Thursday night was a rare treat. Dressed starkly in black and fronting a seven-piece band, Lennox pulled out all the stops, digging into everything from early Eurythmics ("There Must Be an Angel," "Sweet Dreams") to several stripped-down songs from her new disc, "Songs of Mass Destruction."

And there wasn't a slack moment in the show; Lennox sings with the intensity of a woman going into battle. From amped-up ballads like "Dark Road" to an achingly beautiful version of "Here Comes the Rain Again" (which she sang solo at the piano), she always had something to say and said it directly from the heart. And that spectacular voice, while clearly a little more tired than it was 25 years ago, is still a force of nature -- with a gutsy, powerful edge to it that only living can give.

It was a spectacular performance on its own, but there was one more intriguing side to it. As Lennox sang, MTV-style videos from her past were projected on a screen above the stage. One by one, her amazing incarnations floated by, from Marie Antoinette to Euro-chic babe to youthful Mouseketeer. Slightly out of sync and clouded by stage smoke, the images floated over her head -- like fragments of memory from a rich and complex past.

Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 10:49AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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