Personnel includes: Beth Orton (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ryan Adams (vocals, acoustic, electric & slide guitar, piano, bass); Emmylou Harris (vocals); Ted Barnes (acoustic guitar, mandolin); Smokey Hormel (electric guitar); Adam Peters, Oliver Kraus (cello); Jon Birdsong (trumpet); Vincent Chancey (French horn); Ben Watt (piano); Sean Read (keyboards); Ali Friend (bass); Will Blanchard, Matt Johnson (drums); Scott Minor (programming); The Wrecking Crew Orchestra, The Chemical Brothers.
Producers: Victor Van Vugt, Ben Watt, Beth Orton, The Chemical Brothers.
Though British singer-songwriter Beth Orton's arresting debut TRAILER PARK gained international attention for its striking blend of folk-pop and electronica, her subsequent work has found her scaling down the more electronic elements of her sound. In fact, her third album DAYBREAKER is her most organic outing to date. From sailing strings and twinkling piano to amber-toned acoustic bass and lightly brushed drums, the reference point here seems to be more Nick Drake's BRYTER LATER than anything by William Orbit.
This is an exceedingly gentle outing, seldom rising above an artful murmur. Stylistically, there are a couple of brief sidesteps--"Anywhere" is driven by a light Brazilian rhythm, and the title track bears some low-key hip-hop inflections--but there's nothing on DAYBREAKER that should scare away fans of Sandy Denny or Linda Thompson. It's that very combination of old and new, Anne Briggs channeled through Paula Cole, that gives Orton her distinctive sound.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (7/25/02, p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Orton delivers some gooey pop complete with sticky tunes and honey-dipped ear candy - yet it's heavy, disturbing, recondite..."
Entertainment Weekly (8/2/02, p.73) - "...Extends her range, taking detours into languid country, thanks to cameos from Emmylou Harris and Ryna Adams..." - Rating: B-
Uncut (9/02, p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Beth Orton albums have a habit of getting under your skin..."
CMJ (7/29/02, p.5) - "...It's a confident and intimate affair that Orton fans have come to expect, and its an album you'll reach for on the dark days and those sunny, bright, Sunday mornings when you just want to dance naked in your living room."
Mojo (Publisher) (8/02, p.102) - "...This is her best to date..."
NME (Magazine) (7/27/02, p.33) - 8 out of 10 - "...The immaculately chiselled DAYBREAKER is so beautiful and distant that it almost isn't there at all..."
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