Lennox seems unafraid of risks, from her guttural frustration in "Love Is Blind" to the retro sound of "Coloured Bedspread," with its nod to the Eurythmics' synth-pop. Even though "Mass Destruction" focuses mostly on personal struggles, Lennox does not shy away from showing her political passions. "Sing" is an AIDS-awareness anthem for which Lennox assembled a 23-woman choir that features an unlikely spectrum of collaborators, including Portishead's Beth Gibbons and Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell to Celine Dion and Fergie. While those backing singers add an elegant urgency, the song's highlight is its first verse: With only a simple piano line behind her, Lennox's chilling voice soars, allowing her to capture the plight of the African AIDS crisis with both compassion and -- her strongest trait -- grace.
-- Catherine P. Lewis