Friday, September 10, 2010

Everything But the Girl - Eden (1984)

Whether it's Ben Watt's loungy jazzy compositions or Tracey Thorn's demure crooning, something about early Everything But the Girl reminds me of Christmas. Eden is almost like really overt and sophisticated holiday mall music. I don't mean to turn anyone off by saying that, because its a stellar album, really, it is. It's super romantic, it's classy, its bursting with fervor. There is also an underlying sense of amatory nostalgia and lovelorn disappointment seeping in, elevating it emotionally from your run of the mill light-acoustic faux-bossa nova "mall jazz."

Thorn and Watt work well as duo, co-writing most of the songs, although Thorn sings on all of them except the final track, "Soft Touch" where Watt steps in and takes over on vocals. Outside of the misty acoustic and electric guitars, they have a complete mini-orchestra laden and lavished with various brass instruments, spunky percussion, a Hammond organ and a piano, which make for a very full sound and a far stretch from the song "Missing" that made them popular in the mid 90's. A must have for hopeless romantics.

Rating: 7.5/10



  1. 7.5/10 is a bit hard, I think. This is really beautiful, and rougher than one might think (Miss Thorn's lyrics are often almost cruel).
    I wouldn't follow you on Sade (I mean, come on, Sade!), but this one really deserves to be heard...

  2. 7.5/10 is still a good score....almost a 4/5 in perspective. While I do enjoy EBTG, I'm a much bigger fan of Ben Watt's solo releases (which are phenomenal) and Tracey Thorn when she was a Marine Girl.