Everything But the Girl

Everything But the Girl

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The music fad of the moment in 1984 in England was a revival of the early-'60s Brazilian pop sound of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, and Stan Getz, updated to current sensibilities, and the two main practitioners were Sade and Everything But the Girl. On this revised version of their U.K. debut album, Eden, altered for U.S. consumption, the duo of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt performed their three U.K. chart singles, "Each and Every One," "Mine," and "Native Land," in a calm, unruffled style keyed to Thorn's warm, if slightly unfocused, vocal style. If the music had a flaw, it was that the sound, with its light sambas and steady ballads, spare instrumentation, and careful sax solos, impressed more than individual songs did, perhaps because Thorn's way of phrasing meant you could listen to "Mine," for example, several times before catching on to its feminist theme. Still, Everything But the Girl was more direct and had less of the exotic affectation of Sade (which, however, may help explain why it was she, and not they, who succeeded in America).

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