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Central Reservation [Japan Bonus Tracks]
     

Central Reservation [Japan Bonus Tracks]

by Beth Orton
 

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On her stunning sophomore recording Central Reservation, Beth Orton slips free of the electronic textures that colored her acclaimed 1996 debut Trailer Park, stripping her music down to its raw essentials to produce a work of stark simplicity and rare poignancy. With the exception of a pair of Ben Watt-produced tracks ("Stars

Overview

On her stunning sophomore recording Central Reservation, Beth Orton slips free of the electronic textures that colored her acclaimed 1996 debut Trailer Park, stripping her music down to its raw essentials to produce a work of stark simplicity and rare poignancy. With the exception of a pair of Ben Watt-produced tracks ("Stars All Seem to Weep" and a remix of the title cut), Central Reservation rejects synthetic sounds and beats altogether in favor of an organic atmosphere somewhere between folk, jazz and the blues; the focal point is instead Orton's evocatively soulful voice, which invests songs like "Sweetest Decline" and "Feel to Believe" with remarkable warmth and honesty. It's a risky move creatively as well as commercially -- after all, the club culture was the first to champion Orton's talents -- but it pays off handsomely. For all its brilliance, elements of Trailer Park already feel dated, but the new material possesses a timelessness that recalls the best of Nick Drake or Sandy Denny, with a haunting beauty to match. And while much has been made of the melancholy that pervades her music, ultimately Central Reservation is first and foremost a record about hope and survival; its emotional centerpiece, the seven-minute "Pass in Time" (a spine-tingling duet with legendary folk-jazz mystic Terry Callier), grapples with the death of Orton's mother, but its underlying message of healing and perseverance is powerfully life-affirming -- her music hasn't merely discovered the light at the end of the tunnel, it's now bathing in it. [Central Reservation was released in Australia and Japan with two bonus tracks: "Best Bits" and "Precious Maybe."]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/1999
Label:
Bmg Int'l
UPC:
0743216578726
catalogNumber:
21047

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beth Orton   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonium,Vocals
Ben Harper   Electric Guitar
Henry Olsen   Bass
David Roback   Acoustic Guitar
Ben Watt   Guitar,Keyboards,Sounds
Lucy Wilkins   Violin
Ali Friend   Bass
Sara Wilson   Cello
Lascelles Gordon   Percussion
Oliver Kraus   Cello
Beki Doe   Violin
Howard Gott   Violin
Sean Read   Piano,Keyboards
Ted Barnes   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Mandolin,Slide Guitar
Becca Ware   Viola

Technical Credits

David Friedman   Vibe Master
John Wood   Engineer
Giles Hall   Engineer
David Roback   Producer
Trevor Smith   Engineer
Victor Van Vugt   Producer,Engineer
Ben Watt   Programming,Producer,Engineer,beats
Dick Meaney   Engineer
Beth Orton   Producer
Oliver Kraus   String Arrangements
Beki Doe   String Arrangements

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