SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on February 20, 2006 at 2:50 pm

Note: The album was produced by experimental, multi-instrumentalist Jim O’Rourkeicon whose high-profile credits include mixing Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtroticon, co-producing Wilco’s A Ghost Is Bornicon, and a stint as a member of Sonic Youthicon in the early ‘00s.
Sound: Surprisingly straightforward, considering the producer. Beth’s delicate and dreamy croon is more prominent than ever in this intimate, folky, singer/songwriter-with- band setting. The electronic rhythms and orchestrated string sections that were peppered throughout her previous albums have been replaced by more piano and isolated acoustic guitar.
Heavy Rotation track:Heart of Soulicon
Medium Rotation tracks:Heartlandtruckstopicon“; “Wormsicon“; “Comfort of Strangersicon“; “Rectifyicon
Recommended: It’s ironic and a bit disappointing that one of the more ambitious folkies of the last decade went conservative with an avant-garde producer. However, it’s more frustrating that the first five tracks on the album – definitely the most interesting section – feel like unfinished fragments. Despite the shortcomings, though, it’s still another solid showcase for Beth Orton’s unique voice.
Grade: B

(As posted 2/20/06 on davepowersmusic.com)
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