Album review: Camera Obscura, Desire Lines (4AD)


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The Independent Culture

On Camera Obscura's fifth album, songwriter Tracyanne Campbell couches harsh, sometimes brutal sentiments in soothing musical surroundings.

It leaves Desire Lines finely balanced between innocence and experience, whether she's being cruel to another – “Three years in and I call to crush what remains of this love” – or confessing her own failings with a cool candour, as in “Fifth In Line To The Throne”: “I have seen your deepest flaws/I'm ashamed to say they made me want you more/I was in awe”. Produced in understated manner by Tucker Martine, the songs' clean pop lines are revealed with the minimum of decorative detail, most successfully in the case of “Break It To You Gently”, which is a natural classic.

Download: Break It To You Gently; Troublemaker; Fifth In Line To The Throne