Everything But the Girl’s 1996 album, Walking Wounded, was a recording that didn’t wear out with repeat listenings. In fact, numerous plays revealed deeper depths of the disc’s music.
But there was always a sense the album could have had “more.” Well, the duo’s new disc, Temperamental, delivers on that “more.”
With Walking Wounded, instrumentalist Ben Watt and vocalist Tracey Thorn were attempting to resolve their acoustic jazz-pop past with its newfound electronic future. The electornic elements of the album sounded something like club music but wasn’t. While the songwriting attempted to make way for the new whizbang drum machines and synths but didn’t.
On Temperamental, Everything But the Girl strikes the right balance. Most electronic music doesn’t aspire beyond a heavy set of phat beats and a single line of lyrics. (Tell me the last time you heard a revelatory couplet in a club.) But Watt and Thorn use this foundation to craft some hook-ladened songs.
Similarly, some songwriting tenets had to be compromised. The three-minute format doesn’t work on the dance floor, and Watt uses the typical seven-minute stretch of beats and rhythms to showcase Thorn’s vocal prowess.
If this album isn’t the definitive mix of electronic and pop music the label moguls are searching for, who knows what is?