Comfort Of Strangers





Beth Orton takes in the comfort of strangers in her new album. However by the record’s finish those strangers are now close friends and devoted fans. Anyone that wrote her off after her last release, Daybreaker, is required to snuggle up and spend some quality time with Comfort Of Strangers. This is not a request. Her minimalist approach to this album is a departure from past efforts and features Orton on piano, harmonica and guitar with producer Jim O’Rourke on bass. More folk and no dance, at times Orton covers heavy subjects such as letting go of a relationship gone sour, as in “Shadow Of A Doubt”. “Worms”, the first track, is the most upbeat and strikes a remarkable sameness to something Fiona Apple would write. Orton’s quick delivery of lyrics and piano-driven beats run rampant throughout it. The rich and thick textures that abound on “Absinthe” are only sweetened by Orton’s beautiful vocal range. “Conceived”, the first single from the LP, boasts strings, a huge chorus and has the potential to win people over again, like her first two albums did. Another standout tune is “Heart Of Soul” that starts off slow and introverted before turning into a loud and warm cry for putting love in your heart. What makes this work special is that it comes across as a more substantial album that most of her counterparts have brought to the table. Female singer songwriters are a dime a dozen, but this is more than just a “sipping tea while at Starbucks” listen. This is the real deal.

Beth Orton
Astralwerks

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Comfort Of Strangers