Central Reservation

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Martin Johnson
On Central Reservation, ambient-folkie Beth Orton's eagerly anticipated -- and superb -- second full-length recording, the singer-songwriter favors bracing sentiments, inviting melodies, and dramatic instrumentation, sometimes lush, mostly acoustic and spare. On the opening track, "Stolen Car," she sings of love over a bed of strings, guitars, and vocal harmonies, concluding "When every light speaks the language of love/And never held the meaning I was thinking of/I can't decide whether right or wrong/You left a feeling that I just do not belong." But belong she does, offering solace with her pure, ethereal vocals and ingenious lyrics, wrestling demons and triumphs ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Martin Johnson
On Central Reservation, ambient-folkie Beth Orton's eagerly anticipated -- and superb -- second full-length recording, the singer-songwriter favors bracing sentiments, inviting melodies, and dramatic instrumentation, sometimes lush, mostly acoustic and spare. On the opening track, "Stolen Car," she sings of love over a bed of strings, guitars, and vocal harmonies, concluding "When every light speaks the language of love/And never held the meaning I was thinking of/I can't decide whether right or wrong/You left a feeling that I just do not belong." But belong she does, offering solace with her pure, ethereal vocals and ingenious lyrics, wrestling demons and triumphs both vivid and grand. Known for her work with electronica's leading lights hailing from Norwich, England, she was discovered by William Orbit, Orton is assisted by Everything But the Girl's Ben Watt on two tracks, including the trip-hoppy "Stars All Seem to Weep" and a dance-y remix of the title track. Still, the presence of Watt and other high-profile guests Ben Harper, Dr. John, Terry Callier only serves to enhance the power of Orton's vision and the depth of her songs.
All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
On her stunning sophomore album, 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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/9/1999
  • Label: Arista
  • UPC: 078221903820
  • Catalog Number: 19038

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beth Orton Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Dr. John Piano
David Friedman Vibes
Terry Callier Background Vocals
Dr. Robert Guitar
Ben Harper Electric Guitar
Henry Olsen Bass
Ben Watt Guitar, Keyboards, Noise
Lucy Wilkins Violin
Ali Friend Bass
Calina de la Mare Violin
Sara Wilson Cello
Lascelles Gordon Percussion
Oliver Kraus Cello
Beki Doe Violin
Howard Gott Violin
Sean Read Piano, Keyboards
Ted Barnes Acoustic Guitar, Bouzouki, Guitar, Slide Guitar
Will Blanchard Drums
Andy Waterworth Double Bass
Becca Ware Viola
Ruth Gottlieb Violin
Technical Credits
John Wood Engineer
Dr. Robert Producer
Giles Hall Engineer
David Roback Producer
Trevor Smith Engineer
Mark "Spike" Stent Producer
Victor Van Vugt Producer, Engineer
Ben Watt Programming, Producer, Engineer
Dick Meaney Engineer
Beth Orton Producer
Tim Young Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a truly beautiful collection

    I bought this album originally because of my love of all things Everything but the Girl (Ben Watt mixed two songs on this album), but I've found the folkier, non-electronica pieces the most moving. Orton's voice and lyrics are painfully eloquent and frequently melancholy, particularly on "Blood Red River," a haunting ballad of desire and regret. I rate this as one of the best albums I own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    it was okay

    some songs were pretty good, but after listening i still had that sour garbage pop taste in my mouth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing

    This is one of the best accoustic albums ever. I am simply amazed by her candid lyrics and complementary music. Haunting, lucid voice. Highly recommended for anyone who likes Sarah McLaughlin or Caroline Lavelle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tremendous performance

    Beth weaves some more fantastic melodies. In addition to her own brilliant singing/songwriting, this album includes amazing piano by Dr. John, plus guests Ben Harper, Everything But theGirl, Mazzy Star. One of the most talented women musicians in the business.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    if yr going to buy 1 record this year, buy this one

    a brilliant & vivid performance. it's nice to hear a woman simply be a musician w/out the trendy angst of fakes out there like alanis morrissette.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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