ALBUM REVIEW: Everything But The Girl – Fuse

4.0 rating
Everything But The Girl - Fuse

Few bands have stood the test of time; however, you might like to define that term – quite like Everything But The Girl. The duo, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, released their debut album Eden almost 40 years ago. With many bands from yesteryear announcing comebacks, reunions etc., Everything But The Girl has got in on the action with the release of a new LP, Fuse.

The album as a whole is reminiscent of much of their earlier work, dating as far back as Eden, but also identifiable as being heavily influenced by Temperamental, released in 1999 and an album I recall listening to quite a lot, but it’s also a testament to how time can and does change things, notably artistic influences and voice in any aspects. It’s common knowledge that, like our bodies, our voices adapt and change over time; influenced by our experiences and other factors like how and where we live. Thorn’s voice deeply reflects this and is a highlight of Fuse itself. The worn, more profound and rougher vocals add an air of sincerity and genuineness to the tracks, while instrumentally, the focus on the more dance-like sound is reflective of the growing popularity of the genre in both society and the industry today, something that’s showcased particularly well on “Nothing Left to Lose.”

There are several other highlights on Fuse but “No One Knows We’re Dancing” is a key feature. There’s something emotive, almost melancholic and yet beautiful about the song. It proves the duo isn’t afraid to switch things up from rather happy and upbeat to wistful and thought-provoking practically with a snap of their fingers.

Any auto-tune is something many find irritating on songs and albums, myself included; however, the auto-tune effect on “When You Mess Up” works surprisingly well. The track won’t sit well with everyone, but no song ever does. However, it should and deserves to be commended for the way it adds a new twist to Thorn’s already established and familiar voice, giving it an edge that means new fans of the band, in particular, won’t have a clue that the voice they’re listening to has been around the music world for almost four decades. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

The subject of live entertainment, notably artistic performance, is addressed on the closing track, “Karaoke”, and for anyone hoping the band will head out on the road in the near future, sorry to disappoint – this song is pretty much the closest you’ll get to any reunion ‘show.’

Fuse, with its modern-day sound that blends almost seamlessly with the familiar, appreciated and loved Everything But The Girl style of the past, is, to say the least, an impressive collection. Nearly a quarter of a century from the release of their last LP, this is easily one of the best ‘comeback’ albums of recent years. It’ll likely leave those who hear it wondering where the pair will go and what they might do next and be VERY excited about both prospects.


Xsnoize Author
Rebecca Haslam 93 Articles
Rebecca writes about pretty much any and all music but is a big pop-rock-indie fan. She loves the likes of Panic!. Fall Out Boy and Green Day, but is pretty old school too with Roxette and ABBA on many of her playlists. When not writing, she enjoys travelling far and wide, attending theatre and music shows, reading and spending time with friends.

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