“Eternal Flame” is absurdly top-heavy, all the treble in the strings and Susanna Hoffs’ voice teetering like a gyroscope on a single looping point of rhythm. As someone on Twitter said, the triangle on this track is something you can never un-hear once you notice it.

The spindliness of “Eternal Flame”‘s bottom end gives the song a necessary fragility: the singer feels certain this is the real thing, but can’t quite be certain, and even considering the question leaves her exposed: the catch in Hoffs’ voice on “my whole life, so lonely” is the first time the song breaks out of its charming drowsiness and it’s when I really feel there might be something behind the fairly rote sentiments. When the other Bangles come in it’s a reassurance, but in conjunction with the ramped-up arrangement they also overload the track, tipping it into the full-on ballad it’s only flirted with becoming.

Score: 5

[Logged in users can award their own score]