Comfort of Strangers

Comfort of Strangers

by Beth Orton
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Comfort of Strangers

After 2002's Daybreaker, Beth Orton hit a wall. The album mixed Nashville and club-ville, and while her bruised vocals were as beautiful as ever, Daybreaker lacked the coherence her previous work. Comfort of Strangers, on the contrary, may be her most focused album, and her best. Produced by Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Wilco), Strangers is a stripped-down affair with barely a hint of the electronic trappings that characterized Orton's early work. Although keyboards and strings occasionally sweeten the arrangements, most songs feature little more than Orton's guitar, O'Rourke's bass, and Tim Barnes's drums. And, of course, Orton's voice, which is the real star. Whether slow-burning and weary on "A Place Aside" and "Safe in Your Arms," tense and edgy on "Heart of Soul" and "Feral," or gentle and conversational on "Conceived" and "Rectify," Orton's understated alto manages to be consistently stunning without ever overshadowing the songs themselves. Orton wrestles with self-doubt and affairs of the heart throughout the album, but she also tackles issues of religion and politics and social justice in compact songs. Direct but not simple, Comfort of Strangers suggests that Orton realized that less can sometimes be more rewarding, for both the artist and the listener.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/07/2006
Label: Parlophone (Wea)
UPC: 0094634984720
catalogNumber: 498474

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beth Orton   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jim O'Rourke   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Marimbas,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Rob Burger   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Slide Guitar
Tim Barnes   Percussion,Drums
Okkyung Lee   Cello
Karen Waltuch   Violin,Viola

Technical Credits

Jim O'Rourke   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Beth Orton   Composer,Art Direction,Illustrations
M. Ward   Composer
TJ Doherty   Engineer

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Comfort of Strangers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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