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Comfort Of Strangers

Beth Orton Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 26.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography by Jason Ankeny
Singer/songwriter Beth Orton combined the passionate beauty of the acoustic folk tradition with the electronic beats of trip-hop to create a fresh, distinct fusion of roots and rhythm. Born in Norwich, England in December 1970, Orton debuted as one half of the duo Spill, a one-off project with William Orbit which released a cover of John Martyn's ... Read more in Amazon's Beth Orton Store

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Comfort Of Strangers + Daybreaker + Sugaring Season
Price For All Three: 40.43

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  • Daybreaker 4.85
  • Sugaring Season 9.49

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Feb 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,226 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Product Description

BBC Review

Beth Orton has collaborated with Jim O'Rourke to produce this, her fourth album - and a very grown-up affair it is too. Those who found the lo-fi Daybreaker a bit dreary can take heart because Comfort Of Strangers has a brighter slant altogether. Bleakness is shunned in favour of full-bodied warmth; with harmonies, harmonicas and blissed-out strings throughout.

Opening track "Worms" is sweetly upbeat despite love-burnt lyrics -very Aidan Smith. "Shopping Trolley" is a beaut, with joyous crashing drums and pianos supporting Orton's fragile hoots. "Heart Of Soul" is another winner, strident and romantic. "Feral Children" floats along magically though Orton's quavery holler can grate after a while.

All in all a very rounded release and a bit of a grower. --Zoe Street

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums she has done so far 5 Mar 2006
Format:Audio CD
Pop music has been blessed by numerous female folk minstrels of immense talent: Joan Baez, Janis Ian, Eva Cassidy, Sandy Denny… and of course, Beth Orton, one of the best female singer-songwriters to have emerged from Britain in the last twenty years.
It has been a long time coming- four years since Daybreaker- but on the evidence of Comfort of Strangers, it would appear that the time has been well spent.
The trip-hop, Massive Attack-esque influences first exhibited on 1996’s Trailer Park are less in evidence here, with her moving towards a straight folk direction. However, songs such as “Worms”, “Comfort of Strangers”, “Conceived” and “Heartland Truckstop” are beautiful in their purity, with her trademark downbeat, world-weary vocals very much in good health and her lyrics as intelligent and introspective as ever. It just feels authentic, as if she is singing from the depths of her soul.
In all, Comfort of Strangers is of a calibre that few will be able to match, with her intimate, stark simplicity demonstrating perfectly that substance will always triumph over style. Although the folk/indie/electronica fusion has been replaced by rootsy folk, this is as good as Trailer Park and 1999’s Central Reservation. Definitely worth buying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true songstress 16 Feb 2006
By Dan
Format:Audio CD
Well, thank god that she has gone bad to her folksy roots - this mature blending of melancholy lyrics and haunting musical arrangement is a delight to listen to. After recently seeing her live, where she did 3 encores asking the audience what they'd like to hear, this album reconfirmed to me that she is a truly unique singer and poet. This is an album thankfully unlike her last, experimentally up-beat, album 'Daybreaker' and more like her heart-stirring, original efforts of 'Trailer Park' and 'Central Reservation.
It is a truly beautiful album, sung so beautifully it will make you cry over and over again. Beth Orton really has a voice that would make angels jealous. Buy it, I implore you.
Or, at least, listen to 'I wish I never saw the sunshine' from Trailer Park; I challenge you to not be moved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of Miserablism shines 29 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD
Unfairly known as the `comedown queen', Beth Orton has been mining a particular furrow of the frail chauntese for a decade now. Or, more accurately, as the credible female singer-songwriter for whom massive commercial success has always eluded her. Singer-songwriter. What a dreadful phrase that is- Dylan's a singer-songwriter.hell. Even Robbie Williams is a singer-songwriter. So the phrase is itself absolutely redundant.

Meanwhile, Beth Orton seems never to make great commercial inroads or revolutionise the music world. This isn't due to talent (1x Beth Orton = 51 x Joss Stone, according the alegbra of taste), but due to the simple fact that Orton has never been able to transcend the era in which she rose to public prominence. Healthy, but never earthshattering sales, and a preference by cloth eared editors to prefer simpler, more pliable female stars to sell as eye candy on the front cover of their monthlies and radio 2 flagships have meant that Orton sits left of the spotlight.

Two years on from the contractual-obligation "Pass In Time", and "The Comfort of Strangers" is well, yet another Beth Orton album. There's no stylistic evolution from previous records - then again, if it aint broke, why fix it? The template of previous albums, the gentle, understated music and the fragile vocals sound like your hangover at the exact moment you start to feel completely sober. Delicate, battered, and wise.

Where Orton shines is tapping into that particularly British mood that bands like Pink Floyd, Coldplay, and lesser lights have trademarked - a sense of exhausted, exasperated, quiet desperation coupled with a vague sense of distanced reserve from everything. With a dash of regretful sex, which seems to be Orton's unique selling point - intelligent, sorrowful lust.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to her best 5 Mar 2006
Format:Audio CD
Quite simply, this is the best record Beth Orton has made in a long, long time. It seems Beth has given herself a wake-up call - she is working with new musicians, has learned to play the piano and even plugs in an electric guitar on this set. The songs are strong, particularly the title track where her voice soars. Other standouts include Countenance, Conceived, Shopping Trolley and Feral. Jim O'Rourke's pared down production lets the songs breathe and really works. I haven't enjoyed a Beth Orton album so much since Trailer Park.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beth's Flawless Return 15 Feb 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ever since "Central Reservation," and other than a couple of tracks -Sweetest Deline" and her collaboration with Terry Callier, I've been missing her full emotional range, her voice and her lyrics back at the center again.
Comfort of Strangers is that promised fulfilled. Jim O'Rourke produced the miracle, reaching for Orton's heart, and recording a set of tracks that is both eclectic and finely wrought together. This is an album, that rare species of CDs that contain no duds, it's all great.
Still, gems abound. Listen for instance to her voice in the gorgeous Comfort To Stragers, Rectify, Feral Children, Safe in Your Arms, or the lyrics and groove of Worms. She can sings!
Jim O'Rourke's gift is in the nuances and details, here he offers precisely what each song needed. Some almost a wisp of guitar and a quiet bass, or piano, strings or horns in those places where it was the thing to have.
This is a great album, an obvious choice for anyone who'd followed her career, a perfect place to start in your way to Central Reservation, or just a tremendous addtion to any respectable collection.
PS: You can find my in-depth review at
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Comfort Of Strangers by Beth Orton
I bought this CD to complete my collection of Beth Orton's albums. It is sung in the style of some of her earlier work but the songs lack the intensity of the earlier ones. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mr. Robert J. Cornwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Still enchanted
There are some albums that I love. I bought these albums and listened to them intensely for a couple of weeks. After that I still enjoyed them but my enthusiasm wained. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2007 by Daisy
1.0 out of 5 stars Bland
I love Beth Orton and her unique melchonic, fragile voice but this album has left me cold I'm afraid to say. I find it bland, soporofic and obscures her vocal talents. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2006 by Young Bob
1.0 out of 5 stars EMI spyware
Bought this CD from Amazon not realising it came with EMI's copy protection system, which means I can't play it on my PC without installing the EMI software which comes on the... Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2006 by G. Maldonado
5.0 out of 5 stars What They Said
It's hard to find praise for this album that hasn't already been left by its other reviewers.

For me it took a few listens to really get into it, but Beth Orton seems to... Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2006 by Wily Manc
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection that gets better with each listen
An earthy voice, catchy musical arrangements and original, often amusing lyrics (the opening line of the album is 'Worms don't dance, they haven't got the balls'). Read more
Published on 8 May 2006 by Phil Robertshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Chilled Out Tunes!!
Beth Orton, a 70s child from Norfolk, captures the essence of folk-music that runs through the whole of this album successfully. Read more
Published on 1 May 2006 by D. L. Cattanach
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful collection
A stripped down acoustic set from Beth this time out.

I love Heartlandtruckstop and Coceived. Other highlights for me are Countenance, Absinthe and Pieces of Sky. Read more
Published on 28 April 2006 by R. Maddison
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe just a little too smooth, but worth 5 Stars!
A beautiful collection of songs that should appeal to all. The special Edition CD has a few interesting songs that are a little rougher, and show how the album could have been just... Read more
Published on 11 April 2006 by Ironbath
5.0 out of 5 stars A move back to Trailer Park
An excellent return to form for Beth Orton.
I liked parts of Daybreaker but really got into Orton through Trailer park and this very much has the feel of her debut about... Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2006 by Amazon Customer
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