Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tracey Thorn - Tracey Thorn

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It's 25 years since Tracey Thorn's last solo album. In fact it's 8 years since Everything But The Girl last graced us with their formidable presence.

Lead single It's All True certainly was a good one, sounding as it did like something straight out the 80's (to me it brings to mind an Actually out-take - which is all the more relevant with the hidden Kings Cross cover on the album; not that I have that - damn this modern age) and it's as if the last, well, 20 years hadn't happened.

Which would be of no real concern if the rest of the album constantly lived up to the level of that single. Sadly it doesn't.

The voice is as good as ever but it's wrapped around some of the most anonymous and repetitive "dance" arrangements you could imagine. Get Around It is a case in point. It's six minutes long and it's a good four and a half minutes before things ever start to look like they might get interesting. Falling Off A Log is half the length but crucially never sounds as if it might get interesting at all.

That's not to say that there aren't highlights worth a listen, but most of them are the slower, more mellow and experimental moments. The piano-driven Easy is one such track which does bring to mind the Massive Attack collaborations. Another winner is Here It Comes Again which eschews the dance template to draw you into it's cacophony of strings.

Sadly by the time things come to a close with Raise The Roof, raising the roof is the last thing that you feel like doing. It's another stodgy and disappointing number that fails to enchant.

So really despite the odd moments of brilliance this has to go down as an opportunity missed, for whatever reason. It's far too patchy to enchant as a whole but the best tracks do show what could have been. A far from essential purchase in my opinion.

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