A folkie for the electronica age, Beth Orton
brilliantly bridges the gap between acoustic songcraft and digital dance beats with her extraordinary debut album, Trailer Park
. Fusing the plaintive emotional power of the singer/songwriter tradition with the distanced cool of trip-hop rhythms, Orton
creates a fresh, distinct, and surprisingly organic sound without obvious precedent; blessed with a warm, ethereal voice capable of adapting comfortably to Spartan folk ("Whenever," a touching cover of the Spector
-penned "I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine"), buoyant pop ("Live as We Dream," "How Far"), and spacy, densely layered electronica ("Tangent," "Touch Me with Your Love"), she shifts gears with remarkable ease, the depth and clarity of her unique perspective connecting even the most disparate tracks together into a unified whole. Simply put, Trailer Park
is one of the most promising and innovative debuts of its era.