Tracey Thorn Love And Its Opposite

Tracey Thorn Love And Its Opposite
Considering her time in Everything But The Girl brought her rather convincingly to the world of dance music, it wasn't a surprise when Tracey Thorn's last solo album, 2007's Out Of The Woods, continued in a similar vein. But it is more surprising that the follow up harkens back to the earlier quiet melancholy days of her former band. Love And Its Opposite might initially seem like a step backwards, but it gives Thorn the chance to do a couple of things she hasn't done in a while: showcase her wonderful voice and her razor-sharp lyrics. These days, she's writing about life and the world of romance from the perspective of a woman in her 40s, but she does it with just the right mix of optimism, humour and sadness. Musically, it covers more ground than expected, ranging from the sparse piano and strings of opener "Oh, The Divorces!" to the more predictable dance beats of "Why Does The Wind?," although there isn't anything that could be called floor filler. And when Jens Lekman shows up to duet on a cover of Lee Hazelwood's "Come On Home To Me," he makes a pretty convincing case that he could be a new collaborator for Thorn, until Ben Watt decides to give up his DJing gig. Love And Its Opposite is definitely a step in the right direction for Thorn; it might be one of those dreaded "mature" albums from an artist no longer in her 20s, but it brings with it authenticity and a poignancy that could only emerge at this point in her career. (Merge)