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Tracey Thorn: Out of the Woods

Tracey Thorn: Out of the Woods

Desc:CD REVIEW: ARTIST: Tracey Thorn

At about the same time one hapless, blue-faced, morning-after rave survivor uttered the infamous words “chill out” in the mid-’90s, Everything but the Girl called up Todd Terry, pulled on their sparkly bits and headed out to the previously “Missing” dance floor. Two more albums of increasingly intense jungle followed — Walking Wounded and Temperamental — before Tracey Thorn receded from the spotlight, leaving Ben Watt on perpetual turntable duty. Eight years on, Thorn’s cracked open her bedroom door for another go at pop superstardom. Well, not really. Even at their chart-troubling second prime, Thorn’s soul-kissed deadpan skulked in uncomfortable irony in the dark corners of the nightclub. Out of the Woods sees her come a little closer to the forefront with sparser production tactics (thanks largely to the tasteful sonic landscaping of chief collaborator Ewan Pearson) and a less pitiable melancholy. First single, “It’s All True,” is an unabashed love anthem set to the cheese-bounce of early-’90s New York (via Italy) house, and “Grand Canyon” is the best queer-party self-help anthem ever with its building refrain, “Everybody loves you here.” Most impressive, though, is the album’s tasty closer, “Raise the Roof,” an unbelievable quirk-breeding of Scritti Politti and the Tom Tom Club that throws Thorn’s falsetto into the outer reaches of the galaxy. A genius and welcome return.
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