The English music duo Everything But the Girl has been a staple in the music world for over forty years. Consisting of Lead Singer/Songwriter Tracey Thorn and Producer/Singer/Songwriter Ben Watt, since their self-titled debut album in the earlier part of 1984, they have achieved four top 10 and 12 top 40 singles in the UK. Known in the US market for their mega hit “Missing,” they really have so much more to offer. Always writing catchy lyrics and matching them with vibrate synthesized instrumentals, their ever unique style has continuously grabbed attention. In fact, even if you are not too well-versed on them, you have likely come across one of their hits while riding in the car or dancing in a club back in the ’90s; whether it be the aforementioned “Missing,” or “Wrong.”
That said, Thorn and Watt have not performed as Everything but the Girl since all the way back in 2000. What seems like a lifetime ago, to the interest of many, they announced in November of 2022 Everything but the Girl would return with a new album in 2023. Keeping that promise, on April 21, 2023 they released Fuse. The band’s first new album in 24 years, Fuse, produced and arranged by the duo themselves, is definitely in a category on its own. Their highest charting album of their career, it is everything you would expect from them, plus more.
Complete with ten songs, it kicks off strongly with a synthesized orchestration of Trip Hop on “Nothing Left to Lose.” Hypnotizing, the song tells a story that becomes vivid with every lyric. This is while “Caution to the Wind” is another magnificent track with a catchy yet soulful sound and “Karaoke” showcases a more romantic style with a slow beat and bewitching lyrics. In a way, Fuse could be looked at as an introduction to vintage Electronica for a new generation. Considering this, cuts such as” Run a Red Light” and ” When You Mess Up” lend a hand to the younger fans eager to grasp these sounds. Just a few tracks named, they all grasp you from beginning to end.
Overall, the playtime of Fuse (at just over 35 minutes) may be short, but the music is timeless. Even though other Electronic music styles – such Techno, House, or Dubstep – all had their moments in the limelight, it is the sounds of acts like Everything but the Girl which are everlasting in the music world and have momentous character. Fuse may sound like Everything but the Girl, but is not set in the past. Impressive, not many bands have been able to evolve, yet still have that distinct sound that made them famous… but Thorn and Watt manage to succeed.
With the ’90s making a comeback in the mainstream there is no doubt that Everything but the Girl will continue to make an impact. They are genuinely talented and these hypnotizing tracks complete with soulful lyrics makes Fuse all that much more satisfying. Giving hope that genres like Electronica and Trip Hop are not dead, Cryptic Rock gives Fuse 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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