Annie Lennox: A Christmas Cornucopia

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Posted December 7, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

On her first holiday album, pop legend Annie Lennox goes uplifting non-secular route using folk carols and obscure hymns

Throw away the furthest thought of an electronica Eurhythmic album: you revelers are not getting that here. What you will get is one of the better holiday entries of 2010. Annie Lennox goes the traditional route on Cornucopia, re-discovering 17thcentury English carols like “Angels From the Realms of Glory” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Even pleasant oddities are aboard like “Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant,” “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Lullay Lullay (Coventry Carol).” The abandonment of traditional holiday pop productions and the teasing of Celtic and Old English aromas all help to distinguish the album from most holiday sets. Lennox’s original, her own, is embedded in the mix: “Universal Child” delivers “We Are the World” charity dipped in Bob Dylan prose on an arrangement bearing the embellishments of adult contemporary pop. Although much of the album suffers in its sameness of tone and overall design, Lennox does a fine job taking listeners into a soundtrack that never undermines the spirit of the holiday. In the collection’s liner notes, Lennox recalls her non-preference of a particular religion; stating that they all bear  portions of rich virtues, but the album – with compliments of the African Children’s Choir – obviously leans heavily on Jesus Christ. Her humanitarian efforts and activism, along with that strong sense of spirituality, are also peacefully etched into “Lullay Lullay” and “Universal Child.” Somehow the ability to sing of the Christ child connects so purely to Lennox’s modestly-soulful voice. Regardless of a person’s religious preferences, Cornucopia paints tranquil, peaceful and wintery images that cozies warmly on the ear. Play this album before Sting’s If On a Winter’s Night… and you are bound to inherit sweet dreams.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 12 November 2010
  • Label: Island
  • Producers: Mike Stevens
  • Track Favs: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Universal Child, The Holly and the Ivy, Lullay Lullay (Coventry Carol)

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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