Annie Lennox: Nostalgia

By this point in my life, Annie Lennox really is like an old friend. She has accompanied me on road trips, lulled me to sleep, made me get up and dance and, on quiet grey days, made me cry a little. Musically speaking, she articulates my soul in a way that no other musician has been able to do. Her new album, Nostalgia, is a collection of blues and jazz tracks from the Great American Songbook (Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, etc.) and I was not really expecting to be all that moved by it, to be perfectly frank. The reason I say that is because so much of what makes Annie Lennox my go-to soul sister is her way with words. She expresses so poetically through her song lyrics exactly what I seem to be feeling. It's that mix of fire and ice with her, the sharp cut paired with the warmth of a loving embrace. That's Annie. Traditional jazz and blues have never really reached me on that same level. I can enjoy the songs, objectively, and perhaps tap my shoe to an old-fashioned bossa nova but they don't get inside me. 

I was happily surprised by Nostalgia. It is short and sweet (and bitter, as all Annie Lennox albums are) but there is a rapturous and storied depth to the way Annie interprets these songs that just pulls you in and takes you back, exactly as the album title suggests it will. The album is quite downbeat with plenty of that Lennox melancholy that has made her so beloved to her fans, but there are also up-tempo tracks to lighten the dark. Therein lies the key to Nostalgia: it is light playing with dark, just as life itself is filled with such sweet contrasts and contradictions. The music and Annie's voice are spellbinding and hypnotic. The album has become a part of my story. It is available on limited-edition vinyl, CD and deluxe-edition CD.

Memphis in June
Georgia on My Mind
I Put a Spell on You
I Cover the Waterfront
Strange Fruit
God Bless the Child
You Belong to Me
September in the Rain
I Can Dream, Can't I?
The Nearness of You
Mood Indigo

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