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Beth Orton - Trailer Park

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 19 / 3 / 2009

Beth Orton - Trailer Park
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Anthony Strutt examines Beth Orton's highly acclaimed 1996 debut British album, 'Trailer Park', which has just been re-released in a new double CD edition

Beth Orton's debut British album, 'Trailer Park', has been re-released as a double CD remaster thirteen years after it first came out in 1996. Beth meanwhile is taking some time out to bring her daughter and to write material for her next album. 'Trailer Park' is for me one of the best albums of the 90s. Sadly this new edition doesn't add any outtakes recorded at the time of which Ted Barnes who is Beth Orton's guitarist has informed me there are quite a few. Instead it adds a CD of bonus material and B sides of singles that were released from the album. 'She Cries Your Name' opens the album. It was her first proper single after a very limited debut CD, 'SuperPinkyManky' and one sided 7 inch single,'Don't Wanna Know 'Bout Evil', both of which were recorded with her then boyfriend William Orbit and released in Japan only. 'She Cries Your Name' came as a something of a shock because it is a full blown number, while Beth's shows before it was released and she had her band were stripped down affairs featuring just Beth and Ted on guitars and Beth on vocals. It starts with lush, sad strings and soft, acoustic guitar, and the sweetest girl vocal I have ever heard. After this it flows in a soft rock manner, which adds depth to the folk element already evident in this song. 'Tangent' was like nothing I had ever heard at the time. Set deep in club culture, it has a lost vocal backed by trance like music and deep bass lines from Ali Friend. Songs like this gave Beth the title of "the comedown queen." This is perfect music to comedown too, whether it be a heavy drinking session or coming back to facing a new week of work. 'Don't Need a Reason' is late-at-night or Sunday morning music. Featuring lush strings, it is a folk number that has gone pop in a big way and is absolutely lovely. 'Live as You Dream' is a song of celebration. It is an almost party-like number, pop at its best. 'Sugar Boy' in contrast is another downbeat, comedown folk track, gentle on the ears, and a joy to listen too from start to finish with smooth keyboards, guitar and drums to back it all up. 'Touch Me With Your Love' is a long, progressive number with further deep bass lines from Ali. A comedown track with a love lost vocal, it has an an odd feel and is unlike anything else I had heard at the time, or for that matter since. 'Whenever' is a song full of life, big in sound and crystal clear in its vocal delivery and guitar playing. 'How Far ?' is very gentle, a happy little tune to get you into the flow for a great weekend. 'Someone's Daughter' was a single, released in 1997 around the time she first started to play slightly bigger venues like the Union Chapel in Islington in London. A folk-pop number, it was always popular with her female fans. 'I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine' was another single and is a cover of a song that Phil Spector wrote with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry for the Ronettes in 1966. It is reworked as a folk number, and, limited on its release to 500 in each format, is now very hard to find. 'Galaxy of Emptiness' ends the album. Another moody long comedown track, it was a stand-out song live and is a number to get lost in with its trance like grooves. 'Trailer Park' is a perfect album from start to finish. Even if you had nver heard a note the artwork stands up by itself. To me it one of the best albums ever made.

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Beth Orton - Trailer Park

Beth Orton - Trailer Park

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