Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Beth Orton 

Comfort of Strangers

Wednesday, Feb 15 2006
Comments
Beth Orton has largely eschewed the spotlight during the four years since her last album, Daybreaker, making it all the more surprising that she spent just two weeks recording the follow-up, the startlingly minimalist Comfort of Strangers. It's an uncanny move, with producer Jim O'Rourke stripping down Orton's sound to its barest essentials, replacing her synthetic beats with quiet acoustic guitars and somber pianos, and it works, sort of. Orton's soulful wail is more than capable of carrying an entire album, as was made evident by 1999's Central Reservation, and Strangers achieves an unmistakable poignancy at times, particularly on the title track and the politically charged "Feral Children." Elsewhere, things tend to drag. Too often bereft of fleshed-out melodies and invigorating arrangements, this sounds like a hollow blueprint for an album -- a promising start, to be sure, but nothing more.

About The Author

Rossiter Drake

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"