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Tracey Thorn: Love And Its Opposite

B

Tracey Thorn

Album: Love And Its Opposite
Label: Merge

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Like an old Sinatra LP, the title of Tracey Thorn’s third solo disc neatly outlines its thematic concerns. Love And Its Opposite doesn’t have a narrative through-line or anything, but the adult concerns of the lyrics on “Oh, The Divorces!” (“Who’s next? / Always the ones you least expect”) and “Singles Bar” (“I lay on my back for a Hollywood wax / I’m stripped and I’m French-manicured / Can you guess my age in these jeans?”) have a maturity and centeredness that is nicely matched by Thorn’s warm-honey vocal tone. Ewan Pearson, the British producer who also worked on the former Everything But The Girl singer’s 2007 disc Out Of The Woods, helps cook up largely simple and polished music, more chamber-pop than folk, that’s both modest and luxuriant and fits her voice like a crushed-velvet glove; he’s as simpatico a collaborator as EBTG partner (and Thorn’s husband) Ben Watt. Even when the tempo goes up (on a song called “Hormones,” naturally), Love is cocktail-hour ready, but that helps Thorn’s realism go down like a highball.