Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everything But the Girl - Love Not Money (1985)

Before their harrowing plunge into mainstream electronic territory, Everything But the Girl, consisting of the husband and wife duo Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn, made some great, saavy, and rich acoustic “sophisi-pop” music. I must say that I kind of loathe that term, but I’ve heard multiple sources refer to them as such, so I guess it’s appropriate to use it to describe them. Like I said on my write-up on Eden, Love Not Money still has that innate warmth that brings to mind kitschy wintertime/holiday music; however, with wistful undertones and diverse instrumentation that makes it so much more. The album opens with its strongest track, and like your mom with her arms spread wide open, osculating you softly on the forehead and then embracing you in her comforting clasp, the song just makes you feel all nice inside. Much of the album has this quality and it’s what made their sound so endearing. Opener and single “When All’s Well” is then followed by a rustic, almost country-twanged lilt before resigning back to their usual pseudo-poppy, lazy jazz conglomeration they do so well. There’s not much to say about the rest of the record. It’s solid, charming, soothing, and what you’d expect from an early EBTG album. Sadly, this was one of their last real quality albums before their dramatic shift in style that a lot of fans of their earlier stuff were turned off by, myself included. Yeah, they sold out. Plenty of bands have done it before, but at least we got a few gems before their retrogression.

Rating: 8/10


"When All's Well"

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