Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stars All Seem to Weep

Song: Stars All Seem to Weep
Artist: Beth Orton
Album: Central Reservation

Beth Orton’s electronifolk had really won me over by the time she released 2002’s “Daybreaker.” I remembered her first single, “She Cries Your Name” getting play on my college station back in 1996, but it was the sophomore album, 1999’s “Central Reservation” that really solidified her career. Her vocals always seem just a touch off, but she writes the most beautiful tunes, and then fit her husky voice to a tea.

I really liked “Central Reservation,” especially “Stars All Seem to Weep,” my absolute favorite song of hers. It’s the perfect mix of electronic blips and beats, subtle guitar, and Beth’s stark poetry. Just absolutely beautiful. I find the album a little inconsistent (which many, many would argue with) but found her follow up, 2002’s “Daybreaker” to be the real gold. I also really liked the companion album, “The Other Side of Daybreaker” which was a half remix half b-sides album, which can stand on it’s own.

All of this build up made last year’s “Comfort of Strangers” such a disappointment. She ditched the electronics for the most part, and while I could have been up for a straight up singer-songwriter album from her… “Comfort” ended up being what no other Beth Orton record had been before… boring. Sure, I dug lead single “Conceived,” but it seemed to be the only song with an actual hook or melody. Despite several listens I just could not connect with it.

A Beth expert might say to start with “Central Reservation,” (and the amazing “Stars” is worth it enough) but I put my money on “Daybreaker.”


Here are a slew of videos, one from each album (chronologically of course!)

She Cries Your Name

Stolen Car

Concrete Sky


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