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Love and its Opposite

Love and its Opposite

16 May 2010
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Tracey's wonderful voice since a band I played in shared a bill with Marine Girls (her first band, I think she was still at school then!)many,many years ago.

This album is sparse and haunting in tone, allowing her wonderful voice to shine through, rather like the earlier EBTG (I was never a fan of the 90's electro-dance stuff)albums, but with a more mature depth nowadays. I have played it through about five times now, each time it gets a little better, after three listens, I would have said four stars.....but now, 'I'll give it five!'.
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Format: Audio CD
Tracey Thorn's third solo album "Love And Its Opposite" is quite a beautiful follow-up to the superb "Out Of The Woods" which was undoubtedly more rhythmic. Where this album may lack in tempo, it certainly componsates on lyrical meaning. Tracey's vocals are as strong as ever with their wonderful story telling qualities and soft tones.

The album opens with two heartfelt ballads, both different in styles but equally meaningful. The beautiful piano and string led "Oh, The Divorces!" tells the story of the torment that couples go through when they split up and how this ruptured relationship affects all of those around them. The gentle and soothing "Long White Dress" talks about the propect of marriage and the turmoil of indecision that this may bring. The tempo elevates with the infectious "Hormones", an uptempo yet suave pop song, which discusses moods swings caused by the chemical imbalances we all suffer at different points in our life. The other songs on this release are just as poignant and true to life. "Kentish Town" is a dreamy ballad which focuses on Tracey's childhood memories. "Why Does The Wind?" is another upbeat track with a strong 80's feel to it and a catchy rhythm. "You Are A Lover" is another magical and subtle Folk influenced ballad. "Singles Bar" has an addictive Blues inspired melody and "Come On Home To Me" has very plaintive and dark vocal harmonies and arrangements. "Late In The Afternoon" is a melodic mid-tempo track with a very nice choice in rhythym and guitar chords. "Swimming" ends the album on an atmospheric note with dreamy vocals and arrangements.

"Love And Its Opposite" is a very well crafted third album with some very inspiring lyrics and interesting choices in musical arrangements. This album is her most subtle to date, but the softer nature of her music does not compromise on its quality and draws on her abilities as an experienced and talented songwriter to create another beautiful collection of songs.
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Format: Audio CD
A great return to form from Tracey, I have been an admirer of her sublime voice since first hearing the 12" version of Working Week's Venceremos, and was glad that I bought that version as when the Working Nights album (which too is excellent) was released the vocals were by Juliet Lewis which are also very good but just isn't Tracey.

Since then I have enjoy years of collaborations and her the work with her partner Ben Watt as Everything But The Girl. They were musical chameleons that weren't afraid to change direction with each album. I remember in a Hard Talk interview on BBC News 24 some years ago, Ben in an answer to a question about the differing musical styles saying that the one constant was Tracey's Voice, well that voice is back with another album of thoughtful and intelligent lyrics.

I must admit to having all of EBTG's and Tracey's albums and, singles so maybe my review maybe a just a little biased and I just wanted to spread the word. I took my son to see EBTG for his first live gig and was fortunate enough to see them at around the time of The Walking Wounded Album Tour at a small gig in at the Pyramids Southsea.

Unlike some reviews here I thought that her previous outing Out Of The Woods was a welcome return after taking time out for her family and this latest offering again highlights what great singer songwriter Tracey is. So many albums spanning a long career and not one duff song, I've enjoyed all of them and have to Thank You Tracey (and Ben).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had been a little worried that - after the electronic 'bedsit disco' brilliance of last album 'Out of the Woods' - the promised return to Tracey's acoustic roots might prove something of a letdown.

In reality, these tracks (concerned with growing older, reflecting on relationships) are delicate and touching. There have been a few sniffy reviews in the press which seem unable to believe that an adult woman should be writing about what it's like to be a mother, to see friend's relationships break up or to worry about their own future. Yet it's this specificity that makes the album so affecting; the details of other people's lives that say something about our own.

I particularly enjoyed 'Late in the afternoon', which contemplates the passing of time and wonders whether it's possible to keep a long term relationship fresh when there's little new to discover about each other. Alongside 'Long White Dress' and first single 'Oh! The Divorces' this is Tracey at her best: direct lyrics, haunting vocals and a sensitive acoustic production.

There are some faster and more production heavy tracks - 'Hormones' is a handclappy, amusing look at a mother/child realtionship whilst 'Singles Bar' is a brutally honest look at dating again after the end of a relationship. 'Swimming' is a brilliant track that builds and builds.

If you've loved Tracey Thorn's voice in the past, then you should enjoy this album immensely. I do miss the electronica but there's no doubt that these starker backdrops allow the lyrics to really stand out and also enable the vocals to sit right in front of the mix. It's a beautiful album that moved me in its honesty but also made me smile at its sharp observations.
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