Pop: This Week's Album Releases
Beth Orton Central Reservation: Heavenly
Friday 12 March 1999
Elsewhere, the accumulated experience of two years' work with her live band has given Orton the confidence to develop the rootsier elements of her Trailer Park debut. With its subtle instrumental tinting and relaxed double-bass underpinnings, Central Reservation more closely follows the folk-jazz contours of Tim Buckley, John Martyn or Nick Drake - one track features Buckley's old vibes player, Dave Friedman, while the husky melisma of Orton's vocals inescapably brings to mind Drake's languid charm.
The mood throughout is calm and ruminative, particularly for tracks such as "Sweetest Decline", where gently sweeping strings and the cocktail tinkle of Dr John's piano support Orton as she muses in Thomas Gray vein: "Another day slips away, and my heart sinks with the sun." The other guests are equally well chosen: the distinctive slide guitar of Ben Harper uncoils warily through a couple of tracks, and the cult soul-jazz singer Terry Callier helps out on "Pass in Time", Orton's elegy for her late mother.
"There's no right or wrong, this isn't a test, and I won't lose my experience," Orton notes on "Couldn't Cause me Harm" - as level-headed an observation as any in contemporary pop music.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia