Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Little Bird" An Annie Lennox Single That Failed To Soar.

The Good: Song is not bad. . ., Collectible value
The Bad: Poor use of medium, Some predictable rhymes, Poor replayability
The Basics: A tremendously disappointing radio single, the one-track version of “Little Bird” is a collector’s item more than a worthwhile musical experience.

Readers of my many reviews know that I am biased against the c.d. single as a medium. There is something insulting about paying for a disc with eighty minutes capacity and only getting four minutes of music on it! It is especially hard for me to pan c.d. singles from artists whose work I otherwise enjoy. And yet, the c.d. single of “Little Bird” is hardly one of Annie Lennox’s best outings. In fact, there is a halfway decent version, but this is not it. The one-track version was the version given to radio stations and dance clubs to use for airplay. Unlike the commercially-available c.d. the one-track only has the album cut of “Little Bird” and it is a thoroughly underwhelming musical outing.

“Little Bird” was the final single released from Annie Lennox’s solo outing, Diva and to the artist’s credit, it was written by Lennox. Lennox also provides the lead vocals on the song, though she was not involved in the production.

“Little Bird” is a keyboard driven dance track which instantly evokes memories of Lennox’s band The Eurythmics. Set against a pounding drum machine and deep bass chords on the keyboards, “Little Bird” quickly becomes an energetic single which uses Lennox’s voice as a counter balance to the pace and orchestral depth of the music. The song has a singsong dance-pop tune which does not significantly develop into anything musically rich. Instead, the song is notable for its powerful opening chords before it fizzles into a very generic dance beat and collection of “move to it” synth noises.

Vocally, Annie Lennox is appropriately amazing on “Little Bird.” First, she presents her lines with a clear soprano voice which is exceptional. Lennox has one of the most distinctive voices in the business and on “Little Bird,” she is high, fast and emotive. Competing against such rich instrumental accompaniment, one of the real surprises of “Little Bird” is how clear Lennox is able to sing. This, however, is one of the songs by Annie Lennox where every line can be clearly understood and it is easy to find oneself singing along to it.

Sadly, though, it is also one of Annie Lennox’s less inspired songs, which is probably why the single flopped in the U.S. outside of dance clubs. With lines like “But my my I feel so low / My my where do I go? / My my what do I know? / My my we reap what we sow / They always said that you knew best / But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now / I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed / So I've just got to put these wings to test” “Little Bird” is hardly the most original song in terms of rhymes or even statement.

In fact, the only reason to pick up the one-track version is because one is an Annie Lennox collectibles enthusiast. Beyond that, the disc is overpriced and underwhelming. The song is available far less expensively on Diva or Lennox’s Collection which had all of her singles. There is no good reason I could find to spend on this!

For other singles reviews, please check out my takes on:
Cool - Gwen Stefani
Nowhere To Go - Melissa Etheridge
Right Beside You - Sophie B. Hawkins


For other music reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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