Central Reservation is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Beth Orton, released on 9 March 1999. The album featured contributions from folk musician Terry Callier (with whom she also recorded the b-side "Lean on Me"), Dr. Robert and Ben Harper. Several tracks were also produced by Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl. Central Reservation received critical acclaim and garnered Orton a second Mercury Music Prize nomination, and won her Best British Female at the 2000 BRIT Music Awards.Wikipedia
At the expense of noodling, this album is exceptional, especially considering I've never heard of the artist let alone the album. Throughout the album we get a series of emotionally charged tracks with generally gentle and simple arrangements. Orton's voice is gentle and breezy, but on occasion tastes metallic due to the heaviness and tumultuousness of some of the lyrics. Examples would include some of the last few songs on the album, which are in spite of being on an album with no bad songs, probably my favourite part of the record. The album is generally described as a ''folktronica'' work, but I really didn't see a lot of that. With the exception of a few songs like Stars All Seem To Weep and the last track of the album, which is basically the title track remixed. The overarching genre here is folk and to an extent alternative folk. Most songs on the release are longer than 5 minutes, but they all just seem to breeze by since another one the album's major features is its sheer diversity in scope and structure of the songs at hand. You never feel like a song has been rehashed (last track aside) or repeated. The arrangements are always simple but more is less here. Undeniably one of the most underrated singer/songwriter albums of the 90s. In a world of musicians and singers like Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, Sinead O'Connor, Tori Amos and PJ Harvey, this gem seemed to have slipped under the radar. Let's change that. 10/10
This album feels like going out for the day with your mom for a day when you are 7, and while you've long since forgotten what you did, you remember what it felt like. Being softly cradled and warmed by some soft and immutable force that you'll never be able to articulate, but one we've all felt. Beautiful use of Orton's soft, slight and occasionally wailing voice. The arrangements are never dense, but soft and ones that lull and lightly pull you to keep listening. Like soft pirouettes in a slowly dying house. Beth Orton gives us rest in the quiet in-betweens of life. These simple memories that we are forgetting, but somehow it feels comforting to do so. Childhood ended, we've moved on, but that deep yearning never will. (7/10, may end up as an 8 if I keep listening)
British folktronica, huh? You know, on paper, I should have disliked this, but I didn't. I didn't really LIKE it either. I just... experienced it. It would be very hard to hate this album. It's just so inoffensive. But that's, to some degree, why it's hard to love it too. It has no sharp edges, pushes no boundaries, and doesn't ask anything of the listener. It just... exists quietly in the corner out of everyone's way. Every track lingers just a little too long and Beth spends just a little too much time singing wordless nothings for no reason. Her voice is excellent. I just wish she was singing something interesting.
Beth Orton once described Van's Astral Weeks as album 'that has been willed into being' which I thought was a lovely turn of phrase. She draws upon a similiar poetic sensibility to deliver this fantastic album (Sweetest Decline is a song straight out of the Van playbook)
Can see why it was called Modern Sounds, the big band feel, makes it bright, sharp and punchy. None of these tracks sound like Country and Western songs, so I'm assuming they are standards/classics in C&W which makes Charles reinterpretation of them so striking, he's placing a big band aesthetic over them, making them feel new and impactful. Charles has great phrasing, he can stretch and hold a note so well. Not many words in some of the lyrics, but he lets them float over the music. He also hold and bend notes so well, to fit to fill the phrasing and tempo of each song. More a fan of the uptempo numbers, but the slower ones show off the versatility of Ray’s voice/tone.
Beth Orton creates a very playful, warm, delicate and pleasant sounding record with Central Reservation. The production is stellar, the lyrics are touching and Beth's voice is incredible. If there are things to criticise, it has to do with the editing process, non-lexical vocals, and very sparingly, a lack of energy or focus. Some tracks went on for too long. This was especially noticible on So Much More and Pass In Time, with the last two minutes dragging on and introducing nothing new. While most of the record is extremely well produced, Feel To Believe is not up to standard. Lastly, I am not a great fan of the jazzy "la la la" or "da da da", as they are the greatest reason for some tracks not elevating themselves to more than being background, chamber pop. Bonus points for the futuristic elements on Stars All Seem To Weep, which reminds me of Portishead's best. A solid 3/5, just shy of reaching 4/5.
This was interesting. I wasn't really feeling it for the most part until I took a nap in the corner of an empty classroom in between classes, and then it hit different. Do with that information what you will.
This Lilith fair headliner is my favorite.
Really liked this - need to listen again
Das ist das perfekte Album um ein einem Anruf das nicht regnet den Tag bei ein paar Sachen spazieren zu gehen melancholisch und doch optimistisch. Kurz gesagt einfach gut ich überlege fünf Sterne zu geben. Inkl. Bonus für die Überraschung
really beautiful, great songwriting too!
What a beautiful record
Unnnngh big nostalgia bump for this album - takes me straight back to uni. I think I'd still give it 5 stars even without the familiarity, but who can say? Fave track - "Stolen Car" - such a fantastic album opener. The title track is great too...
I fell for Beth Orton the first time I heard She Cries Your Name in '96. Seen her live so many times, Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury '97, Union Chapel, Shepherds Bush Empire, an upstairs room in some random London pub, some venue near Southbank with Johnny Marr on guitar that was cut short when some wanker set off the fire alarm, and a church in Auckland. She never disappoints. All hail the Queen of Comedown!
I listened to it twice, then I let it roll on the background for a while to keep me company.
Great album, I really enjoyed this. My first listen was at the beginning of the day and it was nice to drift in and out of sleep with. The second listen was just as good, but awake.
This album is gorgeous. Beth Orton’s voice is incredibly versatile and can break through anything making the listener hang onto every word. She is known as a folktronica artist, but I found this album to be solidly in the folk category except for a few songs on the back half of the album. I can see how this influences later artists in the 2000s and 2010s when folktronica really came into its own.
I am very pleasantly surprised by this!
1999: Stolen Car, Couldn't Cause Me Harm, Feel To Believe
I really liked it. Early folktronica has a bit of nostalgia feel to it, and the songwriting itself was quite good.
Not too bad actually
It might not be fair to Beth to say that she sounds exactly like Natalie Merchant, but...she does. There are plenty of great tracks on this record, and the standout is a song where she grieves her dead mother. Powerful stuff. Best track: Pass In Time
I loved her voice, I loved the production this was very good 8,8/10
Tell you what was the bomb. This album. Beautiful voice and the production sounds really familiar, like the cranberries. Or that tune 'I can't breathe until ur ass is here with me, I can't hide.' u know on love actually soundtrack is that her, fuck?
She's got a great voice over some semi-ambient electronica/trip-hop beats. Very "lo-fi hip hop to relax/study to" vibes.
Perfect glass of wine and a bath album. Or, a comedown album back in the day.
Very nice indeed.
Ik kan dit waarderen; het is tijdloos, prettig om naar te luisteren en het werd sowieso weer eens tijd voor een vrouwenstem tussen al dat mannengeweld.
Zeemzoet zweven zonder zorgen
Quite easy listening, sounds good for a lazy morning with a coffee. Can imagine this playing in a coffee place too. Quite like the voice of Orton.
Really enjoyed this album. Great voice.
I didn't listen to this when it came out - I was too busy listening to Portishead. But it's very good.
I love this album and the following one Daybreaker. I didn't keep up with her output and for no good reason. I must try harder. Favourite Track : Couldn't cause me harm.
Lovely singer-songwriter album
90s coffee shop realness
Folk and electronic- England
really solid listen. enjoyable.
Smooth easy listening
Really fantastic, lovely mix of folk and electronica.
LOL. Y que hago la reseña de Soul Mining... Muy chido, me gustó bastante el bajo en Sinking Feeling, las cuerdas en Twighlight Hour y Giant es todo un viajesote. Un poco de todo, medio synth, medio dark, medio postpunk.
Definitely a re-listen this one for the chill afternoons. Was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Its only 4 stars since there is some filler towards the end.
precursor to Olivia Rodrigo
Wow, she's fantastic! This is a solid album. Had not heard of her or heard any of her music before. I like her style, her writing, and her voice. Great songwriting, too. She shows some real range of expression on this album. Very cool.
4 out of 5, but an unsteady one - from obvious gems to some mediocre proto-hipster-bullshit. But a release with Love Like Laughter, Stolen Car and Couldn't Cause Me Harm on it cannot be bad in any case.
Beth Orton doing what Beth Orton does. Polished folk pop.
This is a generous 4, because although I didn’t enjoy this an awful lot on first listen, it definitely has potential to be a grower!
Very pretty, in short
De va många bra å många decent
Beautiful voice and nice, chill-out music.
schöne und warme Stimme, diese ruhigen Songs gefallen mir gut. Die Sängerin kannte ich bis jetzt nicht, aber das ist ein so ein Album, dass man in ruhigen Stunden gerne immer wieder hört.
Up my street
Kind of moody and dark and low key in an interesting way. Liked it more than I expected.
Znam da će mi Sweetest Decline, Central Reservation i Love Like Laughter biti na repeatu. Tako divne melodije, melankolične, a neke ću već kao i ove koristiti za jesensku plejlistu :3
Zasto folktronica tako dobro izaziva nostalgiju
Radiohead snuck into a singer songwriter
This is splendid. Beth Orton has a lovely voice, with just a hint of a Joni Mitchell vibe. Perusing the personnel, Orton has assembled a nice group of really talented supporting performers, including Dr. John, Benn Watt and Ben Harper. Will definitely come back to this. Fave Songs: Pass in Time, Central Reservation, Feel To Believe, Blood Red River, Sweetest Decline, Stolen Car
This is one of those albums that I want to listen to while on my porch and watching the rain. Nice coffee and a smoke type vibes.
I went through a big Beth Orton phase 25 years ago or so, listening to this album and the compilation album Pass in Time over and over again. Her voice is the first thing that grabbed me - there's just something so unique and emotional about it. The music and songs are also amazing. Strange that I never delved further into her catalog than those two albums, but this is a good reminder to do so. I'll be listening to Beth all day today at least. 4 stars.
Excelente voz! Vibe gostosa
A wonderful album that started to lose me towards the end. At the front, however, it was a great mix of vocals, instrumentals, and production. Everything felt very understated and it allowed her voice, which is the real selling point of the album, to shine through.
Otra grata sorpresa. Me recuerda a Natalie Merchant, pero un poco más moderna. Al final me cansa un poco el disco, pero le daré un 4.
Beth Orton nouus offre un superbe album qui fait du bien après la daube country offerte par Emmylou juste avant. Il est bon de rapeller que tout cela n'aurait pu arriver sans l'intervention de ce bon vieux William Orbit. Ce dernier a en effet vite abandonné la musique après son exécrable album entrevu il y a quelques mois de cela, pour se reconvertir dans la contrebande de cigarettes. A cette occasion, il rencontrera une Beth Orton des plus dévergondée dans une soirée de bas-étage londonienne, et finira par la lancer dans la musique. Le succès ne vint pas immédiatement pour Beth, les productions techno d'Orbit venant ruiner sa superbe voix, mais après quelques années et une séparation des plus attendues, Beth pu nous offrir ce superbe album non entâchée de la présence du parasite Orbit.
Coffee shop singer song writers has got to be one of my favorite genders
I very much enjoyed this album. It was a great soundtrack for the Sunday morning walk with the pup.
Nice mellow pop.
Influential and genre defining album, but too long
Flott rödd, góð tónlist, skemmtileg electróníku og kassagítars blanda. Jájá.
I would describe Beth Orton as being the least famous person with a famous voice (at least in music). This album is fairly difficult for me to describe, but it's excellent. It's mellow and folky a lot of the time, but it surprises you sometimes as well (Stars All Seem to Weep kinda comes out of nowhere). Overall a great listen 4/5
Otra grata sorpresa. Me recuerda a Natalie Merchant, pero un poco más moderna. Al final me cansa un poco el disco, pero le daré un 4.
Reminds me of the 90’s
Preferred the upbeats tunes, but overall not bad
Well produced and well Written just not to my taste
Pleasant enough. Bit like Dido or Emma Rugg. Not what I’m really into at the moment.
Would listen again, liked Stolen Car
Kind of moody and folk-sy. Average.
Got a little repetitive.
Nothing ground breaking but nice enough. Couldn't cause me harm is my highlight
breathy 90's girl voice
Never heard of her before, but it was a cool album! I'm trying to think of who she reminds me of. Maybe Joni Mitchell was a big influence?
Not too much to say, it was a sappy album that was so sad
I actually took a nap when the album was playing #true story
Ca secoute bien un genre d’electropo 3*
Excellent songwriting and impassioned singing. I can hear how she influenced female singers that followed her eg Sarah McLachlan with her soulful, wavering singing style.
Bella voz. Acompasado. Fácil de escuchar
Moody, good songwriting & lyrics, nice voice. I owned a compilation she put out a few years after this that included a bunch of these songs. Pleasant enough. I prefer the slightly more produced pieces like Stars all Seem to Weep.
It was OK. Nothing stood out and blew me away
good music with nice lyrics and decent backing. not quite to my taste but enjoyable nonetheless
not great but decent background music
Sounds a little like Dido. Her voice is just okay. Too feely for me.
Moet het misschien nog eens met meer aandacht luisteren want volgens mij is het wel een mooi album.
Pretty bored. Didn't think I knew who this was, but it all sounded very familiar. Pretty sure Mum had this album. I remember the first song, which is pretty good. Cool voice, but otherwise, pretty bland. Songs are far too long for how uneventful they are. Kinda nice, but also pretty meh Update: gets better at the end. Love like Laughter and blood red river are stand outs. I'm confused.
Fijne plaat voor een rustige ochtend. Lekker dat ie een beetje trippy is. Duurt wel een beetje te lang waardoor de zang wat gaat zeuren.
Quite mellow, not outstanding hence ***
meh for an album, but the songs could fit into some of my shuffled playslists
Good album. I usually like female singer/songwriters. This is no exception.
I like her songwriting and she has a distinctive voice that has a certain amount of vulnerability that works well with her folky songs. The single Stolen Car has a very different sound and feel than the rest of the LP. It sounds like they knew they needed a single and pulled out all the stops and production expertise to get the guitars to sound just right for the airwaves. I'm not saying it's contrived. Ok maybe it's a little contrived but it's still a really good tune. Her LP kinda reminds me of PJ Harvey and early Sinead 'O'connor in that they all put their hearts out there for all to see. (Sinead's first album also had Mandinka which was produced to sound the way a single is supposed to sound.)
Very generic 90's singer songer writer album.
Nothing excellingly good, but nothing really bad either. Very good to put up in the background, quite relaxing.
Easy listening, maar geen hoogvlieger. Aangenaam als achtergrondmuziek, maar zou het niet snel nog eens opzetten.
Niets speciaals, maar ook niet slecht
Standaard 90's vibes. Was de perfecte soundtrack voor een sneeuwochtend met zon. Op gelijk wel ander moment van de dag zou ik dit maar meh vinden. Favoriet lied: Pass in Time
Some really beautiful tracks and some very mundane. Was going to give this a 4 but the later parts of the album really let it down
Pretty middle of the road
Gorgeous voice but all a little dull really
Solid but wouldn't listen again.
What an incredible voice, and a beautiful album. Some really brilliant tracks on this. I would happily dip my toe into this again
I think I've heard something from Beth Orton before, but I'm not sure what it is. I don't think it was on this album. "Stolen Car" was the closest to sounding familiar. This album sounds like it would have been played by some of the radio stations I listened to in the late 90s, but it also sounds like stuff from the late 90s. I didn't find any new favorite tracks, but there wasn't anything that I definitely disliked either. (3 stars.)
This was awesome! Really enjoyed it.
Liked it better than I thought I would. Used to hear Beth Orton dance remixes.
Great song writing. Very 90s. Pretty cool.
Yeah was alright
Yeah fine, not hugely memorable
Obviously good but somehow didn't strike very deeply for me. I wasn't attending particularly to the lyrics and maybe am giving this less than it's due.
"You said you stood for every known abuse That was ever Promised To anyone like you Don't you wish you knew better by now When you're old enough not to?" (Stolen car) "I can feel my heart Especially now it's on the roof of my mouth" (Couldn't cause me harm) El disco se me hizo un poco monotemático, y es una pena porque empieza súper arriba pero no vuelve a alcanzar ese nivel. Muy buena voz, todo muy late 90s.
The comedown queen. I dunno, I tried her when she came out, expecting to relate. Didn’t. Still don’t. Great vocalist for sure, just missed the mark for me.
Harmless, easy listening, but nothing outstanding.
Strong Fiona, Alanis, Lilith Fair 90's vibes. Not bad
Easy to listen to and the "-tronica" in "folktronica" makes it a bit more interesting for me than if it were only "folk". However, as it goes on, near the end, it start to become a bit bland and kind of same-sounding. 3-stars anyhow.
I've been getting a lot of folk-rock from this list lately. I don't normally like that genre very much, but Beth Orton has a great voice - good storytelling voice. It's an interesting take on the genre too, and clearly influential on other artists. Plus - Dr. John and Ben Harper collaboration = pretty cool.
I mean...I'm starting to think this album generator gets stuck in a groove sometimes. Here's PJ Harvey, a moody alternative 90s British female artist, and here's Beth Orton a moody alternative 90s British female artist. Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to Adele, perhaps the Spice Girls? Anyway, this is more poppy than PJ Harvey for sure. Reminds me of Jewel. There's a "Who Will Save Your Soul" sound to her. And some Sarah McLaughlin in there too.
Easy listening, didn’t feel moved by it or find it memorable. Beautiful vocals
Liked quite a bit
Pretty 90s singer/songwriter. Very of the times, not a huge fan but nothing is bad. "Stars All Seem to Weep" is more of what I'd be interested in, a bit more trip-hop mixed with acoustic.
I know Beth Orton mostly from her vocals on Chemical Brothers albums. I like the way they use her voice in a more ethereal way. I don't particularly enjoy the combination of folk and electronic music on this album. It's too heavy on the folk side for my taste.
Seemed promising, but got less interesting to me as it went on.
3.5/5. Can def see the importance, and there are some bangers, but the folk tacks are so mid
The music itself is good, decent to have on in the background if you've had your coffee.
This album was nice to listen to but I wouldn’t say was anything special by any means. It’s very mid to late 90s female artist sounding. Something nice to listen to and relax, but nothing really grabs me as special.
Soothing and good as background music but not something I'd come back to listen to again
Started strong, got boring. A classic 3.
Liked the first track. Rest was pretty boring.
I like this. I hear a lot of Joni Mitchell in her voice at times and I'm cool with that. When I heard the first song and saw that this came out in 1999 and I immediately wondered if she had been on the Lilith Fair at some point. And damn if I wasn't right about that. I'm like folk-lady psychic. Ask me anything.
Loved the voice, really goes well with the music 3.5/5
Easy listening! She reminds me of Dido ❤️really like her voice.
Never been a huge fan of Beth Orton. One or two songs, her voice has always seemed so weak. This was more country than I expected. It’s fine (but doesn’t seem like one of the best albums of all time!)
Nice but a bit uneventful, I guess I had to be there at the moment it came out
Often cited as a classic Folktronica album, it actually lacks a little bit on the electronica side. But the songs have beatuful arrengements and the lyrics are very interesting. The problem for me is that, from the first track on, "Stolen Car" (the best on the album), the album loses momentum very fast and starts sounding repetitive in the second half. But Orton's voice is beautiful and, by itself, is reason enough to give it a listen.
This album was full of good songs that I would never be interested in listening to again. I never like rating this kind of album because it is clearly really good, just not anything I'd want to listen to.
A lot of 90s albums suffer from bloat and sadly this is one of them. Loved the early 90s alt singer-songwriter sound but at about 35-40 minutes in it was dragging
Like a knock-off Nora Jones. With a crappy beat box. Very much a product of the era it was released in.
Ehh it's okay.
Meandering, dreamy, sad and hopeful. A slow burner. 3/5
I'm not sure this is particularly groundbreaking, but is pleasant enough and Beth's vocals are distinctive
Conocía a Beth Orton por su colaboración con Chemical Brothers y después escuché el disco "Comfort of strangers" con su potente percusión y que sigue siendo mi favorito de ella. Este es su disco más famoso con su canción más escuchada "Stolen car" y otra más o menos conocida con una versión acústica y un remix que tuvo cierta difusión "Central Reservation". No está mal en conjunto pero no creo que sea algo imprescindible.
fine and ok
A solid album, with really beautiful vocals, but too mellow for my taste and nothing stood out or stuck in my head.
Rating: 6/10 Best songs: central reservation
Light Cranberries, nice, melodic and great background music to just let time pass. This sounds like a bit backhanded compliment but it isn't meant to be
Very chill, but forgetable.
Might be my favorite of hers.
I feel like there's more to this album than what you first get on a first listen / initial listens of the more prominent tracks. It has standout performances, like the guitar solo on "Stolen Car", and it has songs that are really sonically different and dynamic that show a good strength of songwriting with different tones and timbres. One down side for me is the track list has one little quirk: I'm estimating here but the BPMs are like this per track: 1: 120~ish bpm 2: 90~ish 3: 100~ish 4: 80~ish 5: 85~ish 6: 85~ish 7: back up to 90-100~ish last track (which is a remix): 120~ish bpm To me, this is kind of weird because it starts with a track that moves and then gets a good bit slower for the rest of the album until the last track. Most music acts have "their" sound and don't deviate too much from it, but I find it weird to sandwhich the album with two upbeat tempo tracks and then have a lot of slower tracks in the middle. It's not a terribly bad thing, but for someone like me who likes the idea of logically placing tracks to create a well-paced listen, I think that it's a weaker variable for the album. Overall I liked the album. As I mentioned above it is more than just a singer songwriter thing, and there's some real nice moments on it.
A very good singer-songwriter album. Beautifully produced too. I’d never heard of her before. I wouldn’t put it on a ‘best of all time’ list but I do like it. The first half is better than the second half though. Highlights: “Stolen Car,” “Sweetest Decline,” “Couldn’t Cause Me Harm,” “So Much More,” ”Pass In Time,” “Stars All Seem to Weep,” “Central Reservation (The Then Again Version)”
Całkiem przyjemnie śpiewa, ale dupy nie urywa.
Calm compositions and a pleasant voice. Didn't find it particularly gripping, it's rather a background for other activities.
It's singer-songwriter week for my algorithm apparently! Not familiar with Beth Orton, but she writes pleasant songs that have a very mournful quality. They're meloncholy but it's not bumming me out to listen. They are long however, lots of 5-7 minute tunes which maybe could be shaved down a bit. I've spent the entire album trying to figure out who she sounds like, her voice is so familiar but I can't figure out who it is.
I-hit wa-hus a pre-hity goo-hood alb-hum. Bu-hut her di-hiction i-his anoy-hoy-hoying.
There were some tracks that I really liked, but also a fair amount of filler
Mellow folk-tinged pop with added gentle electronica. Nicely done. Very similar to Trailer Park.
Average Prefs: Stolen Car, Pass In Time, Central Reservation, Blood Red River, Feel To Believe, Central Reservation (The Then Again Version) Moins Pref: Love Like Laughter
Folktrónica pone... Ni fu ni fa.
Kinda dull in places but inoffensive
Est-ce qu'on peut arrêter deux minutes avec les Joni Mitchelleries, Robert ?! Emmylou Harris et maintenant ça en deux jours ?!
Seems nice. No complaints. 3/5
Can timelessness be a bad thing? This sounds like it could have been recorded any time in the past 40 years, but not necessarily in a good way, just in an unchallenging way.
Aldrig hört tidigare och första låten är helt fantastiskt. Tyvärr är resten av plattan lite ojämn med ett fåtal låtar som sticker ut. Blir en trea. Kunde man ge halva poäng så skulle det bli 3,5.
Really liked the opening song, glimpses of greatness. Actually liked to background tune more than her voice which was a bit warbly.
it seemed okay
When listening I thought, “This seems like music that would be on Dawson’s Creek.” And sure enough. Good to have a feminine voice after all the macho rockers.
It's nice. Her voice carries a lot of emotion, but the songs just aren't that memorable.
Beautiful voice and rich textured music. Enjoyed it a lot but I wouldn't seek it out on purpose, however, would listen if came up in a playlist.
I got turned on to this album when it came out. It's a nice lazy Sunday morning vibe with a lot of jazz overtones. I was happy it came up because she has a new album out and it reminded me I wanted to check it out.
Probably a 3.5 for me. Enjoyed more than I expected. Great background music.
2.5 stars. Not sure if I'll ever return to this album, but surprisingly enjoyable
Album No.10 - I didn't have time to go through it in detail as I'd like to - I'd do that over the weekend. So far, I like the ambience created by the vocals and soft instrumentals in the back. Will definitely have to go back to check the lyrics out. Not quite my type of an album, but a nice one to put on in the background - and my wife enjoys it a lot, which is important too. 3.5/5 - for now down to 3.0 but maybe 4.0 after a while?
Standard singer/songwriter material. All depends on whether her voice appeals to the listener or not, and in my case it was not. Nothing really wrong, but nothing that grabbed my attention
First impression - British Alanis Morissette. The style of music and voice of Beth Orton really sounded similar to the Canadian star. Actually, as an average listener, I think that Alanis is a slightly better singer and writer than Beth. Central Reservation started really nice with song "Stolen Car", which could be easily a hit if released nowadays. But in general, the album lack of hits or more drawing songs hurts it in comparison to other similar artists, like Alanis for example. Titular "Central Reservation" didn't help it either, even though there was three different remixes on the album. The record itself was very pleasant to listen to, but it fell into background pretty quickly. According to some talking heads, Beth Orton created a certain subgenre, called folktronica, which is pretty self-explanatory. Unfortunately, I was not able to hear anything special or unique on this album. It sounded just like one of many, with a beautiful singing voice by Beth, but that is not enough to warrant a good rating on its own.
I liked it
Not my thing
It's one of those albums where if you want to maximize your enjoyment, you should be following the lyrics as you listen. She's a really fantastic and imaginative songwriter, confrontational and emotional when needs be. Honestly some of the coolest lyrics I've seen. The instrumentation embodies much of 70s folk style like Tim Buckley or Van Morrison, while matching her contemporaries like Everything but the Girl and Alanis Morissette, incorporating alt-rock, jazz, and electronic. It's a very spacious and patient album. The biggest weakness is its length, with melodies not interesting enough to warrant their 4+ minute lengths, and too many songs to maintain anticipation. Her voice does a decent job at converying the emotions, you can tell Van Morrison is a model for her, but it doesn't blow me away. I appreciate the diverse genre styles in nearly every song, but it all feels gimmicky and lazy in an attempt to best match the overall mood of the song. If it were lusher or evolved throughout the song, I'd be more intrigued. Favorites: Stolen Car, Sweetest Decline, So Much More, Blood Red River
Let down a bit by this. I hadn’t heard it in a while and I remembered really liking it. She never really seemed to live up to her potential. Listening to this now I think I heard it at the time with the hope that she would. Somehow the record itself feels like a reflection of that as even the songs don’t seem to develop enough.
It's OK but it's a little too alternative for me. I need trippy-er music.
pretty good recent folk album with electronic backing. Not sure if this one will stand the test of time.
Folky, I get why it's on the list but not for me.