Love and its Opposite
(Merge/Strange Feeling Records)
Tracey Thorn's third solo album is a work of simplicity and maturity. Thorn, who found fame with husband Ben Watt as the vocalist for Everything But the Girl 20 years ago is nearly 50, but her voice hasn't aged.
If anything, it sounds better. Its warmth and gentleness is put to able effect in conveying the love stories of fortysomethings, and how love is an ever-moving dance from hope to despair and back again. The album's production is stripped to the basics, enabling Thorn's voice and lyrics to shine.
Opener Oh! The Divorces is typical of the bare production, with Thorn accompanied by little more than piano. The album captures the nuances of love in a raw, touching and adult way. Love and its Opposites isn't always a comfortable listen, but its quality is without question.