Comfort Of Strangers
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BETH ORTON Comfort Of Strangers (2006 Taiwanese edition CD album containing 14 tracks which were recorded in 2 weeks during Spring 2005 and featuring production by the much acclaimed musician and composer Jim ORourke
Top Customer Reviews
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 Although the folk/indie/electronica fusion has been replaced by rootsy folk, this is as good as Trailer Park and 1999’s Central Reservation.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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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 futurosity.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sadly underrated classic from the thinking person's Laura MarlingPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
one of my all time favorites , my fav Beth album , the deluxe version is sublime , such a artistic amercementPublished 22 months ago by fall341
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 morePublished on 23 Jan. 2013 by Mr. Robert J. Cornwell
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 morePublished on 23 Jan. 2007 by Daisy
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 morePublished on 13 Sept. 2006 by Young Bob
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
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 morePublished on 8 May 2006 by Phil Robertshaw