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Beth Orton's first album in six years, Sugaring Season, was recorded in Portland, Oregon with producer Martine Tucker. Orton also called upon a host of old friends to contribute to the album, including keyboardist Rob Burger, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and legendary jazz drummer Brian Blade, along with guitarists Marc Ribot and Ted Barnes and folksinger Sam Amidon. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Gone is all the shimmering electronica and digital files of the dallainces with Andy Weatherall or the Chemical Brothers, indeed the template is much more in tune with her frequent collaborations with Ryan Adams. Following a lengthy hiatus to bring up her daughter this is her first album in six years that firmly sticks to the acoustic knitting and is all the better for it. In that time she built up a considerable backlog of songs and in the selections here has largely chosen wisely. Opener "Magpie" has a bluesy tint to the essential folk based melancholy. It builds to a big finish as Orton's vocals stretch and the intensity ratchets up. More gentle are the following tracks, the lifting pop of "Dawn chorus" and the almost Nick Drake sounding guitar backdrop to "Candles" where Orton's haunting vocals are at their very best. The slow piano ballad laden with violins "Something more beautiful" is an undoubted highlight and will replay repeated listens. One sour note comes in the form of the Weimar cabaret of "See Through Blue" where she tries to adopt a Dietrich style loftiness but it all feels rather contrived and breaks the flow of the album. Still it comes in under two minutes and is followed by "Last leaves of Autumn" which is one of the best things Beth Orton has ever done.Read more ›
It's not her most accessible album but it is a jump from her previous stark 'Comfort of Strangers' (also amazing) and after a few listens I started to navigate the album. It's a whole album experience rather than a singles machine. Beth's voice is just soooo beautiful!!!!! Can't wait to see her live!!!
If you have never heard Beth Orton before, this is a fine place to start, if you have and didn't see what the fuss was about, this may not change your mind on first listen but stick with it, there is real beauty to be found.
Here is hoping this is the start of a more prolific period... I can't wait another 6 years!!!
So, I've given it four stars, because that's where I am with it at the moment. But if I was writing this review in a decade, I think I'd be adding the fifth. Beth Orton's albums are like that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Others have written plenty so i shan't add to that much other than to say this is a beautiful album, highly recommended!Published on 15 Nov. 2013 by Matthew Guy Love
Bought this for the Mrs and she reckons its her best. When I hear it in passing I like it. Sounds crafted and smooth.Published on 28 Jun. 2013 by P. A. Cashin
This album features some interesting songs - very thought provoking words - I like her style and shall look out for more of her albums.Published on 28 May 2013 by R. J. Fox
Present for my husband, has an old Beth Orton album, taken him a while to listen to it, he loves itPublished on 13 Mar. 2013 by Jane Packer