"Late 90s Spirit Pop" is a five-part review series about the unusual and interesting boom in "spiritual" pop albums during 1998 and 1999. For this series, I will explore five records indicative of this movement.
As 1999 began to wind down, the Eurythmics released Peace in late October. The album was a reunion for the two-person band after Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart spent time pursuing solo projects. The album also marked one of the last contributions to the late 90s spirit pop trend. Peace is a different beast than its spiritual LP predecessors (even Paula Cole's diverse Amen, which came out only a month prior), as well as unique in the band's catalog. Though it shares Buddhist overtones with Amen, Madonna's Ray of Light, and Alanis' Supposed Former..., as well as balances worldly concerns and romance a la Blue Planet by Donna Lewis and Spirit by Jewel, Peace is a less varied and adventurous collection, occupying a distinctly adult contemporary position. That is not to say it doesn't work; "17 Again" is a fine piece of wistful nostalgia, "Power to the Meek" has a joyous rock backbone, and the title track works as a lovely reflection on the world's chaos. However, it is a subdued record working in stark contrast to pop trends, and the quiet energy on display perhaps shows that spirit pop was on its way out. Though other artists would make spiritual records in the future (including Lennox herself, who would drop her masterpiece, Bare, in 2003), the boom was over, and what a wonderful spirit pop boom it was!