Rolling Stone - 6/26/03, p.723 stars out of 5
- "...She has claimed a brand of stylish, postmodern soul singing--pained but detached, theatrical yet spare--as uniquely her own..."
Entertainment Weekly - 6/13/03, p.96
"...Amply effective in communicating the isolation, loneliness, and dread that dominate the singer's first solo album of original material since 1992's DIVA..." - Rating: B-
Uncut - 6/03, p.1184 stars out of 5
- "...Songs like 'Loneliness', 'The Saddest Song' and 'The Hurting Time' are as potent as the titles suggest....She's still a class act..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/03, p.1104 stars out of 5
- "...It recollects emotion with a raging tranquility....BARE is an album of stirring, stoic elegance. It's Lennox simply giving everything she's got..."
Personnel: Annie Lennox (vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming); David Rainger, Tim Cansfield (guitar); Peter-John Vettesse (keyboards, drums); Steve Sidelnyk (programming); David Sinclair Whitaker; Pro Arte Orchestra.
Recorded at The Aquarium, London, England. Includes liner notes by Annie Lennox.
BARE was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
A true pop diva, Annie Lennox is a lady who doesn't like to be rushed. BARE is her third solo album in 11 years, and the first to contain new material since her first solo outing in 1992. Not to worry, though; she's still the same Annie you know and possibly love. Her songs are slowly, elegantly unfolding amalgams of pop and slow-jam R&B, and her strong, pliable voice fairly drips with emotional pain.
As on her breakthrough record DIVA, Lennox is an expert in the area of the torch song, laying out her heartbreak on a gossamer bed of sound surrounded by feathery pillows of strings and synthesizers. Whether or not you take the strikingly solipsistic liner notes seriously, it's easy to empathize with the anguish Lennox so stylishly expresses throughout BARE. Even when she lays all her cards on the table with "The Saddest Song I've Got," you feel pretty certain that she's still got more tricks up her sleeve that she hasn't even used yet.