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The Language Of Life

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 8, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Everything But The Girl - Language Of Life - Cd

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By the time of The Language of Life, Everything but the Girl had reached a point in their career where they could get accomplished jazz musicians Joe Sample, Michael Brecker, and Stan Getz to play on their album and not have it perceived as an affectation: the duo had already made five albums that showcased Ben Watt's ability to write a classic melody and Tracey Thorn's silky vocals. In working with producer Tommy Lipuma, they made an album of superficially perfect love songs--beautiful tunes all, but overproduced to the point where the feelings behind them are only rarely glimpsed. There are some great songs, though--"The Road," "Driving," "Me and Bobby D," "Imagining America" are some of the best in EBTG's distinguished catalog--and they manage to make Language a worthy album despite the shortcomings. Check out EBTG's Acoustic for more nuanced versions of "Driving" and "Me and Bobby D." --Randy Silver
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002IP5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,171 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
LANGUAGE is arguably one of the best albums ever made that blends perfect pop with jazz sensibilites. Moody, but also provocative. Stunning vocal performance by Tracy Thorn and the jazz stylings of Ben Watt. There are even a few duets that showcase their sympatico.

This album stands at the crossroads of their career and would be next to the last before they shifted their musical focus to electronica. Here are my favorite tracks.... hope they will be yours.

"Driving" starts with the gentle "ha ha ha" (inspired by Laurie Anderson's "O Superman"...?) and thus begins the album with keyboard and sax meeting together beautifully. Tracy's emotional words and velvet voice melt in the ear.

"Get Back" picks up the beat with Ben getting more vocals this time...almost a duet. A perfect example of their chemistry coming thru the music.

"Meet me in the morning" has Tracy beconing an invitation for an illicit rendevouz. "I haven't come to break your home...

I haven't come to harm your children, I've come to be your love". Beautiful.

"Me and Bobby D" is a sorta lively catalog of ex-lovers. The happy beat and catchy hook masks the portrait of abusive and neglected relationships.

"Language of Life" features a piano, Tracy's smooth notes, and Ben following her lead...gorgeous! A perfect centerpiece for this album.

"Take me" a great standard. Originally a hit for the Isley Brothers. Here sung heartfully by Tracy Thorn.

"Imagining America" another "duetish" song about lovers parted by an ocean during wartime. Great string and sax arrangment! This song has a driven quality, almost urgent as Ben speaks the words Tracy will then sing. Original vocal delivery.

"The Road" is sung solo by Ben Watt.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
If England's Everything But the Girl stopped making records after Language of Life in 1990, they could have rested quite satisfied, though we would have lost two incredibly talented musicians. Because this record is their masterpiece and one of the classiest albums you are likely to ever hear. The album scintillates from beginning to end with exquisite writing, musicianship, arrangements, and production. At the heart of it all is the awesome beauty of Tracy Thorn's voice, which is rivalled only by Sade's for being the best in the business. The comparison is apt in another way. Both Sade and EBTG have a similar integrity and appeal to similar audiences. Hardly anything being recorded today comes close to the emotional truth evoked here on the subject of mature relationships. Nor is it being done so beautifully. If you've never heard Everything But the Girl, or if you haven't yet heard this record, buy it. You will enjoy every track and consider yourself lucky fo! r having made the discovery. Best of all, you will play it again and again, in the car or at home.
P.S. Attention movie producers: need good songs for your soundtracks? Start here.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1996, the name "Everything but the girl" was synonymous to "Missing" - their breakthrough single. It was the first time I had ever heard of them. It was impossible to escape from Tracey Thorn's vocals. They were practically stuck in my head for the longest time. Little did I know that the duo from England had a career spanning almost 12 years before that. Yet, I was not particularly curious as to what their earlier music was all about.

I stumbled across "Language of life" by mistake and I am so glad I did. I always wondered why no one else sounded like Sade and made music like she did. I guess the reason was because I had never heard "Language of Life". The immaculate production of Tommy Lipuma, the infectious and sexy voice of Tracey Thorn, and the strikingly inspired songwriting of Ben Watts come together in the most beautiful way on this album. This is NOT elevator jazz-pop. This is music that will leave you entranced for a very long time.

The album kicks off with "Driving" - the highlight of this album. It is an extremely addictive song. Tracey Thorn's voice along with the saxophone right in the middle of the song is a winning combination that is bound to leave the listener longing for more. The other highlights of this album are "Imagining America", "Letting love go" and "Meet me in the morning". This is one of the few albums that can be listened to from the beginning to the end with no incentive to skip tracks. Do yourself a favor and gratify your ears with this musical piece of perfection.
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By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
OK, maybe it's not the perfect CD that 5 stars suggests, but it's close. A few years ago, a good friend of mine loaned me her copy of this CD. She said she had been in Seattle on vacation, and ended up listening to it all week. I had never heard of EBTG, but gave it a try. What a great CD! The other reviewers are right -- it's intelligently written light jazz/pop, with enough musical hooks to keep you coming back. The AllMusic Guide gives this CD the lowest rating of any CD from EBTG, and if that's the case, the others must be superb. However, this one will be with me for a while. Don't buy the forgetful "Jazz for a Rainy Day" or other such compilation CDs -- buy this one instead. You won't be disappointed.
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