Annie Lennox

Songs of Mass Destruction

Despite an obvious reference to the Iraq war in the album title, Lennox’s politics on this disc are mostly of a personal nature, which is not to say they don’t resonate deeply. Musically, Lennox is lighter and brighter than in the past. Even on “Sing,” a feminist rallying cry and a passionate AIDS protest, her voice soars to the heavens with a sanctified power that’s always inspiring. The song includes backing vocals by 23 international divas, including Angelique Kidjo, Gladys Knight and Madonna, but it’s the Generics, a South African group of AIDS activists, who steal the track with their beautiful harmonies on the coda. These are songs of love and hate, sin and redemption, pain and longing—all driven home by that incredible voice, and lush, understated arrangements.