1984 debut disc by England's dance/pop pairing, Everything But the Girl (featuring Tracy Thorn and Ben Watt). Ithe album as a whole emotes a Bossa Nova / cool jazz vibe and includes 'Each & Every One', 'Dust Bowl', 'I Must Confess' and nine other cuts.
Everything but the Girl hit the ground running with their first album, Eden
; in some ways, they wouldn't equal the effort again for years. Though both Tracy Thorn and Ben Watt learned how to use their voices to better effect over the years, their vocal talents are evident here. Singing over a gentle, tropical-toned combo, Thorn sounds strong and free, and, when the occasion calls for it, vulnerable. Watt may be a little melodramatic on "Tender Blue," but the affecting "Soft Touch" more than makes up for it. Meanwhile, "Another Bridge" presages "Me and Bobby D" (from The Language of Life
); "The Dustbowl" succinctly captures a post-breakup reflection with only a modicum of regret; "Frost and Fire" reaches out from daughter to mother; and "I Must Confess" neatly sambas its way out of a finished relationship. Mature, intelligent, and unflinchingly romantic, it ranks among EBTG's best work. --Randy Silver