Monday, November 24, 2008

The Great Annie Lennox

Music has always been my most silent and steady companion. For as far as I remember, I can say that music has been the one thing that has inspired me, fed me, healed me and set my heart free from all the troubles that life has sent my way. Music was my outlet even before writing. My headphones are like my second set of ears.

Tonight I was watching the American Music Awards, and initially I was quite depressed at the performances. I was tapping my controller on the lap and thinking of the music that has pulled my heartstrings over the years. Where has all the good stuff gone?

We all know that there is so much crap mainstream music out there today. It is hard to see past all the rubbish to find musical substance. There is tons of pop out there, some of which I totally do enjoy, but where are the great musicians of the past 30 years?

Enter redemption; Annie Lennox. I just can’t speak enough of how much Annie Lennox has inspired me as an artist. When I often sit and write, the lyrics of this musical genius run through my mind. Her linguistic vulnerability is a rarity. Annie is a source of redemption for me. Her words and the emotions in her messages move my insides and make me feel so much more than even my words can explain.

Her beautiful crescendos of love and pain speak with a heart of contemplation, frustration and universality. Annie Lennox is one of the greatest artists of our time.

Today, when she sang “Why,” at the American Music Awards, the tears started to run from my eyes. This is not the first time I have been this moved by her performance. I recall at Live 8, she was the one singer that provoked the reaction of tears from me. She is the one artist I have not seen live, that I wish to see the most.

Annie Lennox is as timeless as the beautiful songs she gives voice to. She is a perfect mold for a true female musician. Annie played with experimental sounds with the Eurythmics (with longtime partner Dave Stewart) and then became a successful solo artist. Also a fashion icon is her own right, Annie popularized the iconography of female androgyny in popular culture and brought theatrical performance to the music videos. She can tell a story without it ever looking forced or awkward.

No matter what endeavor she taken on over the years, she has always done it with class and compassion. I can continuously listen to anything from the span of her career, whether it be “Here Comes the Rain,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Walking on Broken Glass,” Little Bird,” “No More I Love Yous,” or any work off of her newer albums, which received no attention on North American charts and barely any in the UK.

Annie shows us that you don’t need to strip your clothes off, or sell your soul to the devil to be noticed. Her legacy should be what young women today see. She stands for showing that you can be yourself and express yourself through vulnerability and difficult change.

Rarely in the spotlight for her music now, Annie’s humanitarian work also gets undermined- but that’s just Annie. Never seeking the spotlight, a star that burns brighter than so many around her. Somehow she still seems shy to me when she is not performing. However when she takes the stage, she opens her heart for the world to hear her beautiful stories through song.
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