Songs Of Mass Destruction

  • Record Label: Arista
  • Release Date: Oct 2, 2007
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. It's as gorgeous a collection as "Bare," and pop music should be so lucky as to have more of this kind of thing out in the world.
  2. She applies her ever-mesmerizing mix of vocal heat and instrumental chill to images of longing, falling, searching, raging, and despair on her deeply emotional and soul-stirring fourth solo album, Songs of Mass Destruction.
  3. There's no getting around the overall thematic pall, but Lennox surrounds every message with such beauty that one remains convinced that it's all going to be OK.
  4. Songs of Mass Destruction is a crop of solid, occasionally over-refined songs in which she consistently delivers lyrics with grand flourishes even as she lends them powerful intimacy.
  5. Songs of Mass Destruction is a sterling, rock-solid, expert example.
  6. Check out the dissonant 'Womankind' ("Wish I had a lover who could turn this squalor into wine"), while the show stopper is 'Sing'--a collaboration with 23 female superstars that is incandescent.
  7. With her explosively satisfying fourth solo album, Annie Lennox delivers her best recording since her Eurythmics' heyday, eclipsing even 2003's marvelous "Bare."
  8. Lennox has pop-rock maestro Glen Ballard, who marshals her voices into a cyber-soul chorale. The sleekness doesn't diminish the fervor or the fun.
  9. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    While the aim is irreproachable, and Lennox's inimitable voice--all dark-chocolate rasp and throaty power--remains undiminished, listening to the album too frequently feels like eating your veggies. [12 Oct 2007, p.75]
  10. The result is an album that captures the range of her styles, from the rhythmically charged pop of her Eurythmics days to the haunted, longing ballads of her solo career. If the two approaches don't always cohere, each is satisfying in its own right.
  11. Blender
    70
    The music is dominated by the same pounding pop-disco beats and thick textures that have defined all her record. But now Lennox sounds like she's been rubbed raw by life. [Oct 2007, p.111]
  12. Lennox’s glossy white-soul template does sound a bit dated but she's still impressive when she gets it right.
  13. Mass Destruction is Lennox's first album largely recorded in the U.S. (Los Angeles and Miami, as opposed to just London), giving the songs a slightly less chilly quality and a bigger, more expansive sound, but it's still a disappointment in the same way the Eurythmics' rock-leaning "Be Yourself Tonight" likely was to fans of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and "Touch."
  14. Songs of Mass Destruction is likely to resonate with those who recognize the unique quality of Lennox’s work and there is enough of high artistic value here to allow the album to serve as another guarantee of Lennox’s fine legacy, even if the spectacular musical moments are scattered around a bit more than on previous efforts.
  15. Mojo
    60
    She sings of global suffering, emotional loss and female power in a way that's occasionally overwrought--but always packs a punch. [Oct 2007, p.92]
  16. The meeting of Lennox's queenly vocals and Ballard's power-MOR production is what America's "modern rock" radio stations have been waiting for, but the upshot is that Lennox comes out sounding dour and reproving.
  17. Uncut
    40
    While the veteran singer's heart is in the right place, she sabotages her messages via the spouting of generalisations and the use of abstract language, with typically grating, inelegant results. [Nov 2007, p.110]
  18. The only song worth a second listen is 'Smithereens.'
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. KatieF.
    Oct 16, 2007
    10
    One of Annie's best. Moving, uplifting . . . a joy for your ears.
  2. RandolphO.
    Oct 27, 2007
    10
    When God wrote down the word soul and the word singer, Annie Lennox name was right next to it. There is no other singer with this much When God wrote down the word soul and the word singer, Annie Lennox name was right next to it. There is no other singer with this much emotional power in their singing and songwriting. Full Review »
  3. rogerm.
    Oct 26, 2007
    10
    When the incredible Annie Lennox released her solo debut CD "Diva" she set the gold standard not only for herself, but for the entire music When the incredible Annie Lennox released her solo debut CD "Diva" she set the gold standard not only for herself, but for the entire music community. Her follow up CD of covers, "Medusa" was finely crafted and gave the listener many hours of pleasure. On her third CD, "Bare" she returned to original compositions and it was a joy to immerse yourself in it. But now, Annie, with "Songs of Mass Destruction" has raised the bar, and created a platinum standard that will stand unchallenged. It's a truly iconic CD, one of those "must haves" for your library, like Carole King's "Tapestry", Bonnie Raitt's "Nick of Time", David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" or any number of Beatles albums. She has surpassed herself, with the witty and, as always, intelligent lyrics and expertly honed melodies. "Dark Road" soars as a ballard as did "Why" off of "Diva" and "Ghosts In My Machine" is the raucus, rocking heir to "Walking On Broken Glass". "Womankind" is catchy with a hook that grabs you and refuses to let go. "Through the glass darkly" is a harrowing yet lifting ballad, and "Fingernail Moon" is a gentle, successful foray into whispery vocals and engaging lyrics. "Lost" has echoes of the moving and beautiful Beatles song "She's Leaving home", and "Love is Blind" just plain old kicks ass. "Coloured Bedspread" hearkens back to the electronic '80's, but sounds suprisingly fresh and new. There isn't a misstep or insignificant song in this collection. It's a treasure. With this CD, Annie has not only reconfirmed her composing skills, but she hasn't lost her chops vocally; if anything she's matured as a singer with nuanced phrasing. This CD is a real gift to music lovers of all persuasions, and I hope it doesn't get overlooked just because she's not 20, anorexic, and wearing a Victoria's Secret costume. This CD is for the discerning and mature listener, whatever their age. Bless you Annie, for this heavenly offering. Full Review »