Beneathe minimal socialization, above humid and vacuous affairs, in bed with dirty aligators and cuckholding poor Japanese boys, even at its hookiest, Dave and Annie's carefully designed emotions are extreme yet incisively recogniseably. Conjuring beauty from bruises (I Need You), redemption from diamonds (the title track) or chronic fondness for assholes (I Need A Man), Annie's kitchen sink is glued to the notion of love as punishment, performance, power or just mere preferance. It's soaring highlights score so high that even the disparate moments merely bring it down to perfection. The unnatural setting of Savage is the Eurythmics' epochal era of spellbinding glamour and sonic youth.
When it begins you don't know where to look. The stabbing asphyixiating vogueing-throb Beethoven (I Love To Listen) is a choking Hi-NRG lasceration. Annie's demented housewife pulls her hair out and finds an immaculate wig, supposing boys like that are looking for trouble with girls after something extreme. The disgust and desire of a repressed housewife beyond breaking point, flares her nostrils in furious approval. Dave's beats tremor and quake with razorblaid intensity, causing commotion to sound like a hall of mirrors fragmenting into split personalities. The effect is vicious and hostile, and yet more exhilirating than Britney stringing a sentence together.
The weightless I've Got A Lover (Back In Japan) filters tranquil synths with Annie's sleek Elvis crooning accessorising her fame with a young Japanese boy one can only imagine she has selected specifically for his lack of speaking English. The cloudy extravagance is wrapped up with thorny guitars crashing into the chorus. Speaking with seducing clarity, 'I was bitter when I met you, I was eloquent with rage' has found a little closure. Her finest Aretha impersonation shows off her pipes even if it's undeniably phoney.
More hacking drums embark upon Do You Want To Break-Up's miraculously determinded separation pitch with statuesque glimmering traces of Grace Jones' I'm Perfect. Risidual synths are rinsed away leaving the scaffolding of Dave's daft drumming architecture to cleverly creak like doors closing or opening.
Annie's icy vocals sting with arctic pathos on Hi-NRG ballad You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart, endorsing love's bankruptcy to 'get it on credit if you need some more'. 'I just want someone to hold' is expressed so humanly her roleplay is undeniable. Nursing yet more wounds, Shame is tinged with the remorse of a materialistic lifestyle.
The seethingly lush post-debauchery masochism of Savage is a pre-Cribs 80s airvent circulating cold and world-weary conclusions. The Aberdeen songstress grimaces 'these are my guns' and despite her lesbian icon status I don't think Annie is the weightlifting type. Her voice could bleach the air such is the narcassictis numbness styfled into hardened regret.
Crazy for cock? Sarcastic I Need A Man went over the heads of many (probably) male critics who dismissed the anthem as 'desperate', further fueling the song's irony. The blood-boiling middle-8 hits home with more than a clenched fist. 'Hey you want me to sing now - is this my turn? Okay - wooooaaaaaaaaaahhhw!' has been paid tribute to by none other than Dana International. A million drag acts just found their big entrance.
Migrating from Mick Jagger's groin to blood-soaked tampax disco, the taut treacle-funk Put The Blame On Me blushes in distress. An uber feminine camp fetale pleads with the willfully flimsy 'why did you close your eyes when I'm the one who's blind?' proving that lyrically it's an aesthetic completely justified. Fflirtatious ebullience.
The rich and lustrous Heaven pleads euphoria. Think Dannii Minogue's Girl meets Donna Summer with some of Kylie's GBI thrown in for seasoning. Sampled by the legendary Curve on their own disco fix of I Feel Love.
Annie's neat Elvis trick is quiffed up again on Wide Eyed Girl, immersing her rythmic strategy into an arena-ready James Brown snare, rousing hers testosterone levels to match the big bad beat.
Deadpan violence vaccuum I Need You: 'some of them want to abuse you, some of them want to be abused' but who is wanting what remains debatable. Starting like some sort of Roxette demo, the cynical arrangement vaporizes her bruises into 'ecastasy' whether it is faked or not. Uncannily evocative.
The near-acapella Brand New Day is candidly perfectionist for the sake of it. When the near-psychedelic chandelier intrumentation catches up to the beats it is a happy, kind relief.
Fanatical and undaunted, Annie dissects domesticity the way Madonna once claimed to dissect sex. Both shared an inexhaustible pleasure during the 80s for exploring their themes, but Savage 23 years on is still a hot fresh masterpeice - to deny it is to be deaf or just lying.