Beth Orton's alluring new album brought me out of hibernation and back into the writer's chair. Orton's fourth and most expansive and musically intricate album will undoubtedly grab the ears of music lovers from coast to coast.
Producer Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth and Wilco) brings his sound or lack of over embellishments to this project. This album focuses on Orton's spectacular vocals and her captivating song-writing.
With its mix of mellow rock and jazz and emotive gospel like songs… "Comfort of Strangers" will stay with you long after its last track "Pieces Of Sky." I love the evocative "Feral," the happy and upbeat "Worms," I also enjoyed "Conceived" and the harp infused "Absinthe," or how about the accordion drenched "Safe in Your Arms."
Orton's 14 track foray captivates emotions that she wears on her sleeve. The majority of the tunes are driven by Orton's lofty vocals along with soft back-ground piano and guitar. This CD is probably my favorite release of 2006 (although we're only into our first week of February).