On their third album, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Everything But the Girl tries another departure on their craftsmanlike ballad style, hiring a full orchestra to give a lush backing to songs usually concerned more with sexual than national politics. Their last album, Love Not Money, may have boasted a considerable social agenda, but here Tracey Thorn sings of romantic disappointment and illicit liaisons, only occasionally bowing to such favorite themes as the lure of fame ("Country Mile"), fantasies about American movie stars ("Sugar Finney," which is "for Marilyn Monroe," and has the chorus, "America is free, cheap and easy"), and fears of fascism ("Little Hitler"). Thorn's throbbing voice is well-suited to the emotional concerns of the lyrics, and Ben Watt creates attractive, string- and horn-filled backings for them. So, Everything But the Girl has found yet another way to effectively vary what would have seemed to be a limited musical style.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann