In their earlier incarnation as leaders of the much-underrated Tourists, Britain's Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart captured the expansive harmonies and drive of the early Jefferson Airplane. In their new roles as the Eurhythmics, Lennox and Stewart bring the same gifts and instincts to a very different context.
Their "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" rises above the current flood of synth-pop releases: Lennox is a first-class singer in any setting and Stewart gets unusually personal textures out of his synthesizers.
Stewart is especially good at coaxing dark sound colors from his machines, filling the songs with a certain dread and creating a delicious tension against Lennox's reassuring, seductive soprano. The tension is pushed along by an unstoppable dance beat.
On the duo's big European singles -- the title tune and "Love Is a Stranger" -- the optimism of Lennox's radiant vocals predominates. On more challenging songs -- "Somebody Told Me" and "This City Never Sleeps" -- Stewart's machines evoke a disturbing nightmare.
Whatever genre they tackle next, Lennox and Stewart will be a pop force to reckon with. EURHYTHMICS -- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (RCA AFL1-4681). Appearing Monday at 9 at the Wax Museum.