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Everything But the Girl: Temperamental

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (10/14/99, p.120) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...digs even deeper into clubland...[weaving] their elegantly morose songcraft around house and jungle beats....if Cole Porter had composed a disco song cycle for Dusty Springfield, it might have sounded like this."

Spin (10/99, pp.151-2) - 9 out of 10 - "...tension between private moments and public spaces reaches a conceptual peak on [TEMPERMENTAL]....EBTG's darkest album, lit only by the promise of the dance floor, the all-night cafe, and strangers' smiles..."

Entertainment Weekly (10/8/99, p.72) - "Gorgeous sound washes by producer-arranger Ben Watt; self-assured yet vulnerable vocals from Tracey Thorn....pop fans will appreciate the way Watt loosens house's relentless thud..." - Rating: B+

Alternative Press (12/99, p.94) - 3 out of 5 - "...exudes a deep understanding of how dance music ebbs and flows....engaging house and drum & bass beats and memorable choruses...Tracey Thorn's distinctive vocals truly make these songs more than just club-ready fare..."

Muzik (10/99, p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...deep house and breakbeat polished almost to the point of blandness....Assured but not adventurous....proves that EBTG are no dilettantes..."

Vibe (10/99, p.183) - "...[carries] over many of the same elements as its predecessor - the repetitive beats and wistful melodies are all in order....Fittingly, it's another collaboration, this time with Iranian-America remix squad Deep Dish, on 'The Future of Future" that saves the album..."

Album Notes

Everything But The Girl: Tracey Thorn (vocals); Ben Watt (guitar, strings, keyboards, bass, programming, scratches).

Additional personnel: Deep Dish (programming).

WALKING WOUNDED's open embrace of dance music was revolutionary in the context of EBTG's delicate pop past. But the duo's 11th studio album signals a complete break with this history. Whereas EBTG previously flirted with drum-and-bass, techno, and house while remaining in touch with the pop melodies of past recordings, TEMPERAMENTAL is a more focused affair. The album reflects Ben Watt's increased profile as a deep house DJ, featuring the EBTG/Deep Dish collaboration "The Future of the Future."

Tracy Thorn's voice proves as plaintive and despairing as ever on an album preoccupied with the facets of urban life. Where "Full Fathoms" is built upon the anticipation of a night on the town, "Lullaby of Clubland" details the stark loneliness of the journey home. "Hatfield 1980" grimly recalls underpasses and knife attacks, and the album's finest moment "No Difference" finds Thorn yearning for past thrills over a pummeling live drum loop and a '70s guitar lick reminiscent of late-night US cop shows.

J Majik (of Metalheadz) lends his expertise to the unrelenting "Blame," one of two forays into drum-and-bass. EBTG may never be loved by the dance underground, but TEMPERAMENTAL is nevertheless a modern, accessible, and impressive work.


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