Beth Orton, Daybreaker

By James Keller

You wouldn’t know it listening to Daybreaker, but Beth Orton once collaborated with the Chemical Brothers, adding volumes to their cutting-edge hard-techno sound. Orton’s third release is an intricate mix of folk backdrops, piercingly melodic vocals and introspective lyrics, complemented at times with down-tempo atmospheres and synthesized transitions. In fact, Daybreaker’s first single, “Concrete Sky,” is only a superficial sample of the harmony and emotion. Beaming out of songs like “This One’s Gonna Bruise,” written specifically for Orton by Ryan Adams, the album shows pop and emotion can exist in harmony. Once you sink into Orton’s version of the world, you’ll be stuck there, listening, until day breaks.

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