Bare is Annie Lennox's first set of solo, self-penned material since her 1992 debut album, Diva. (Medusa, issued in 1995, was a collection of covers.

Bare is Annie Lennox's first set of solo, self-penned material since her 1992 debut album, Diva. (Medusa, issued in 1995, was a collection of covers.) It showcases a woman who is collecting her thoughts following a loss. (Lennox and documentary filmmaker Uri Fruchtmann recently divorced.) Universal themes of adoration, loneliness, depression, hope, and healing abound. The bittersweet, electro-charged lead single, "Pavement Cracks," is about seeing the light at the end of a darkened tunnel. Conversely, "The Hurting Time" finds the artist at one of life's lowest points. By the album's closer, "Oh God," Lennox is awaiting tomorrow's sun—knowing it will come. Mature and very elegant, Bare is one of the year's best albums.—MP