THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Album Review

Everything but the unserious

May 17, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

On her gently magnificent third solo album, Tracey Thorn — the beguiling voice of Everything But the Girl — tackles serious big-girl issues. If you have ever cast a critical eye in the mirror, been in love and then out of love, or observed the cycle from a distance, “Love and Its Opposite’’ has a song for you. The 10 tracks — eight originals and two covers — may be universal in sentiment, but Thorn pins down the specifics, tackling life’s big passages from marriage to divorce to parenthood to menopause. And she does it by focusing on the small moments. Whether it’s the mani-pedi and bikini wax in the tragicomic “Singles Bar,’’ the ache of the afternoon handoff of the kids at the playground of “Oh the Divorces!,’’ or the fears of stagnancy that seize the mind in “Late in the Afternoon,’’ Thorn observes and interprets with a crystal clarity. The album’s apex comes with the rueful “Kentish Town,’’ as retraced steps do not translate into recaptured emotions. Thorn bolsters all of this with a surfeit of appealing melodies, arrangements that blend electronic and acoustic elements with stately elegance, and that mesmerizing voice of hers. (Out tomorrow)

SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Kentish Town’’