As a big music fag, nothing brings me as much joy as something new by Tracey Thorn. With a voice from heaven and biting and illustrative lyrics, Tracey never disappoints. Two years ago Tracey struck out on her own for the first time in 25 years with Out of the Woods, an electronic masterpiece right in line with but completely unique fromthe last few Everything But the Girl albums. Logic would dictate that Tracey would continue on the dance/electro path with her follow up, Love and Its Opposite ( Merge, 5/18/10 ) , but she's taken her biggest turn since going electric with EBTG's Walking Wounded in 1996.
With Love, she again collaborates with producer Ewan Pearson ( remixer for Depeche, Goldfrapp, and Ladytron ) , who knows his dance. With the exception the late disco sound of Why Does the Wind, she seems to be getting back to a more stripped down, meaningful sound. She's tackling very grown-up-lady issues on such tracks as the lead single, "Oh, The Divorces!," "Singles Bar" ( aging divorcee's lament ) , or "Hormones," a downright poppy handoff from a mom to her tween daughter.
Also surprising is her embracing of co-vocalists. In the past, the only voice present was her husband Ben back in the day, but she's not really taken on guests until now, with haunting tracks like "C'mon Home To Me" with Jens Lekman and the uplifting final track "Swimming" with the delicate Cortney Tidwell. Both cuts show Tracey's voice, while always rising above any other living vocalist in range and uniqueness; she plays very well with and compliments others.
As said to a parent friend of mine the other day, "growing up is all about learning to play well with others" and my little "Marine Girl" has certainly done that on her best release to date.
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