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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Tinsel and Lights
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on 30 December 2012
In recent interviews, Tracey Thorn has stated that she has always wanted to create a Christmas album so for her fourth studio album "Tinsel And Lights", she has made this happen. Where it differs from other Holiday albums is that she has not chosen the most obvious Christmas songs which is very interesting and she has also composed a few nice songs which add to this releases' originality.

"Joy" is a sentimental piano led ballad composed by Tracey Thorn herself and is a very nicely written song that perfectly depicts the long winter months. "Hard Candy Christmas" is a melancolic cover of the Dolly Parton song released way back in 1982, interpreted with less of the original Country vibe and more of a gentle Pop/Soft Rock sound. "Like A Snowman", written by Stephin Merritt, is a very beautiful song nicely arranged on this album with the help of a captivating sounding string orchestra. "Maybe This Christmas" is another sentimental ballad this time composed by Ron Sexsmith, but the cover of The White Stripes' "In The Cold, Cold Night" adds fuel to this slow burner and has a distinctive Punk Blues sound. "Snow" brings us back to the subtle but effective piano led ballad territory whilst "Snow In Sun" adds a freshness to this album with its joyous Pop R&B vibe and uplifting lyrics. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is one of the obvious covers and is well interpreted, sitting nicely next to the Tracey Thorn penned "Tinsel And Lights" which is a Folk song that sounds like an instant seasonal classic. The emotionally charged Joni Mitchell cover "River" has never sounded so majestic even though it has been interpreted by many different artists over the years. But it is the final two songs that are the most innovative - "Taking Down The Tree" and "Sister Winter" have a very interesting Electro Pop vibe and are both atmospheric and energising.

Tracey Thorn has therefore realised one of her dreams and has put together a very accomplished Christmas album. "Tinsel And Lights" does not have many outstanding moments, but it does have many strong interpretations of traditional, less traditional and original seasonal creations. It is certainly a must buy for Tracey Thorn followers who will cherish this album.
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on 29 December 2012
I love her voice, and thought her last offering Love and Its Opposite was sublime, so was thrilled to see this come out, and that it had two new originals on it, as well as songs from musical heroes of mine such as Ron Sexsmith and Scritti Politti, and also featured Green of the latter on vocals on another song. The overall effect is lovely. Opening song of hers Joy is one of the highlights. Scritti's remarkable Snow In Sun is beautifully rendered, and Joni Mitchell's classic River is a worthy version that suits her beautiful voice well. Nice that it's not all just Christmas songs but also winter ones like river and Snow In Sun. there's also some cheese with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, but hey, it's a Christmas album. buy if you like Tracey and don't hate Christmas albums!
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on 16 March 2013
I've bought this in March, so not sure what I'm going to do with the Christmas cards from the exorbitantly priced 'box set'. I must admit I'd lost interest after the rather dirgy 'Love and Its Opposite'. But after enjoying the Bedsit Disco Queen book - and what music lover of a certain age wouldn't? - I thought I'd give the latest one a try and what a pleasant surprise. It has the sentimentality of a Christmas album, but also the intelligence and steeliness of the best of the EBTG music. Collaborating with Green Gartside is also a very sensible idea - please, feel free to do a whole album together. Personally, I can't disassociate 'River' from Joni, and adding brass doesn't change that, but other covers like 'Hard Candy Christmas' work perfectly. 'Me, I'll bounce back' is surely a great line for that mournful, tough / fragile voice. Joy.
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on 14 December 2012
Having loved 'Everything but the girl' and Tracey solo... This album recommendation popped up for me a few days ago - I ordered this disc and sat listening this evening... The production is entrancing; delicate, confident and moving. Pared down and not fussy, nothing to hide behind. Which is good in my opinion. Well, maybe it's just me in a soppy Christmas mode but I felt tearful (in a good way) listening to many of these deceptively simple songs. 'Elegant' is a very good descriptive word for this album. 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' is such a tear jerker anyway; I daren't play Tracey's version and Chrissy Hind's back to back. Having said that, Tracey's interpretation is lighter and more cheerful.
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on 4 December 2013
I've been a fan of Tracey Thorn since EBTG released Eden, she is quite simply one of the best female vocalists the UK has ever turned out. So maybe she could have sung anything containing the words snowman, santa or Christmas and I'd have been happy. However, Tracey being Tracey, she went through an exhaustive process of finding around 100 songs relating to Christmas and eventually whittled them down to the best possible material for this album. Tracey Thorn was never just going to make another generic Christmas album to cash in on the holiday period, no, what Tracey has actually done is make possibly the best Christmas album that's ever been made. It is a complete antidote to Slade, The Pogues and every other terrible Christmas tune that we've been forced to endure every year for as long as I can remember.
Her voice is beautiful and the choice of material is perfect. Out of interest I listened to all tracks sang by the original artists and without exception she puts each of them to shame. It's a fitting testament that Joy, one of the most beautiful tracks on the album was written by Tracey herself, just to remind us that her writing ability is as good as song writers whose material is showcased on this album. A simply stunning album that gets better with every listen.
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on 2 January 2013
I must confess I was a huge fan of Everything but the Girl in the mid-1980's, but haven't really heard much since their "Walking Wounded" days, in the later 1990's.
This is such a wonderful album of evocative songs that is so easy to embrace. Tracey's haunting vocals bring out the very best in this fine collection of tracks & it is also lovely to hear Green Gartside's beautiful voice on "Taking down the tree". I'd thoroughly recommend this Cd to anyone who wants a contemporary collection of Christmas tunes. I imagine it will grace my Christmases to come for many years.
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on 1 January 2013
Tracey Thorn has a lovely voice that is ideally suited to this type of album.
It's not an album for putting on at a Christmas party, more for putting on during more reflective times during the festive season.
It's also a nice one to have on in the car during this time of year.
To sum up,If you are looking for a knees up, this is not the album for you, but if you want something nice and easy to listen to after the guests have gone home and the Kids are in bed, then it's a winner.
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on 3 July 2013
Have been a fan of EBTG since around the I Don't Want To Talk About It era so neither Ben or Tracey can really do nothing wrong. This is not a xmas album in the traditional sense but like Kate Bush's 50 Words For Snow a winter album and it really is just a delight of wintry cover songs plus 2 self penned songs. I listened to this heavily over the xmas period and as soon as xmas was gone I put it away and I'm really just looking forward to digging it out for winter again but let's just enjoy some summer first ok. Highly recommended little gem.
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on 2 December 2016
If like me you like to hear Christmas songs that are not in the list that are played every year but are of very high quality then this cd is for you. Lovely songs sang very well and my only gripe is that some of the songs only last two and a half minutes and you just wish Tracy had made them longer because they ooze class and capture the xmas atmosphere but still sound fresh.
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on 4 January 2013
Tracey Thorn is one of my favourite vocalists and this is a rare Christmas record which is reflective but not sentimental or schmaltzy. My favourite track is 'River' which speaks about feelings of dislocation from home at Chistmas. The inclusion of guest vocalist Green Gartside on the next track put me in hog heaven!
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