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Beth Orton - Comfort Of Strangers

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 22 / 1 / 2006

Beth Orton - Comfort Of Strangers
Label: EMI
Format: CD


Disappointing fourth album and first new record in four years for Beth Orton, which lacks the lovely charm and pick me ups of her previous recordings

'Comfort' is Beth's fourth studio album and her first new record in four years. I love Beth Orton. She is a brilliant songwriter, and a lovely woman whom I have met many times.In the last year I and various other friends have seen her at countless gigs, soaking up rock n roll influences. And that brings us here. 'Comfort' is not a bad record, but it isn't a good one either.If the reasons you like her are the lovely charm which shines through on her recordings and her natural pick me ups, then none of those are here. 'Comfort' finds her moody as hell, more folky then previous records and minus her songwriter partner of her last three albums, Ted Barnes, who has been replaced by M. Ward and the record's producer, New York based musician Jim 'O'Rourke. The guitar playing is generally very quiet, and musically it is sadly very mainstream and has a 70's folk feel. While Beth tries hard, this is no 'Central Reservation' or 'Trailer Park'. Most of the songs have a downbeat mood. Either Beth has had a shit few years or she wanted to change direction. I don't know. Most of the songs are very short, the first few each lasting just over two minutes, and not really having much chance to develop. I personally think she needs Ted Barnes back and right now. Much as I love her this is very disapppointing.

Track Listing:-
1 Worms
2 Countenance
3 Heartland Truckstop
4 Rectify
5 Comfort Of Strangers
6 Shadow Of A Doubt
7 Conceived
8 Absinthe
9 A Place Aside
10 Safe In Your Arms
11 Shopping Trolley
12 Feral Children
13 Heart Of Soul
14 Pieces Of Sky

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