Monday, February 20, 2006

Comfort of Strangers

I haven't been as completely mesmerized in a long while as I was when I first listened to Beth Orton's new album Comfort of Strangers. The production is something you just have to sit back and listen to in awe, as it is basically flawless, but of course it is, it was produced by Jim O'Rourke. Jim O'Rourke is the genious responsible for Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which is essentially a template for how an album should sound. But this is all not to say that Beth Orton isn't responsible for this album's greatness, it's definitely a shared contribution. Not only is this her most well produced album to date, but it is also her most vocally as well as lyrically accomplished. On Comfort of Strangers Orton pulls off songs that we didn't even know she was capable of: "Rectify" "Shopping Trolley" and "Concieved" just to name a few. Other than the single "Concieved," this is my favorite track from the album.

[MP3]: Beth Orton :: Rectify
I really like this song because I find it to be equally interesting both vocally and musically. While a lot of the songs on Comfort of Strangers rely on Orton's rich soulful vocals, this one's got an interesting melody that's sure to get stuck in your head too. The song moves through a minute of it's total two and half minutes with a bouncy bassline and high hat with lightly plucked acoustic guitar, but then when it hits that minute mark it enters the chorus and changes into a completely different time signature, a much slower one. My favorite part however, comes when it moves out of the chorus and back into the verse and the drums and bass pick up again, its perfect.

Buy Comfort of Strangers by Beth Orton from

CLICK HERE to enter The Comfort Contest. Win a special trip for two to see Beth Live and be pampered in NYC or San Francisco! Other prizes include a video iPod, an autographed acoustic guitar and 20 runners up will recieve autographed copies of Comfort of Strangers.


For those of you that are interested(which by the way, should be everyone) there are two new tracks streaming on Final Fantasy's Myspace. The two tracks are both from the forthcoming album He Poos Clouds which is to be released by Tomlab later this year. Again, for the uneducated, Final Fantasy is what happens when Owen Pallet of the Arcade Fire plugs his violin into a looping pedal and plays by himself. It's quite a gorgeous thing to say the least and "Many Lives 49 MP" is nothing short of brilliant.
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