Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl have released their first album together in 24 years. After pursuing solo careers and other projects, the couple has reunited for Fuse, a record that showcases their range and musical evolution. While they have had a significant influence on the music industry in the past, the duo still manage to sound fresh and relevant. Thorn’s vocals on the lush and soulful “Nothing Left To Lose” stand out, with Watt’s sonic reverberations adding to the track’s emotional intensity. The experiment with AI on Thorn’s voice in “When You Mess Up” and the electronic tremor in “Caution To The Wind” make for fascinating listening.
Everything But The Girl - Nothing Left To LoseEBTGVEVO
The lyrics throughout Fuse are also compelling, and the duo has used a variety of methods to create them. For example, they wrote the lyrics for the shimmering “Lost” by typing “I lost...” into Google for auto-fill results, which resulted in a heartbreaking portrayal of loss, from misplacing belongings to losing faith, a best friend, and a mother. They get lyrically playful on dreamy “No One Knows We’re Dancing” and sunny “Karaoke,” which set the scene at a dance club and a karaoke bar, respectively.
Everything but the Girl has a history of producing exciting, refined, and influential albums, with ten albums under their banner, each with a multi-faceted flavor. Their first album, Eden, released in 1984, was a sophisticated pop with hints of bossa nova and cool jazz. A year later, their album Love Not Money had a Smiths-style jangle pop with Byrds-style guitars armoured by arpeggios. Their 1986 album, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, was draped in luxurious strings and gleaming brass, while their 1996 album, Walking Wounded, saw the duo embracing the dancefloor and its various facets. They have continued to evolve their sound with their final album in 1999, Temperamental, leaning more in the direction of trip-hop, until now.
Although they have pursued solo careers and other projects, Thorn and Watt’s reunion on Fuse makes it seem like they have never been apart. The record showcases their range and evolution, making it a compelling listen for old and new fans alike. Thorn and Watt have said that the album resulted in an emotional fusion and felt very real and alive. The duo may have taken their time, but it seems their musical chemistry and quality may last forever.