Out of the Woods (Astralwerks)
by Tim Den
Before Björk, before Goldfrapp, before Imogen Heap, Tracy Thorn was utilizing her soft yet no-nonsense angel croons to add life to electronica ballads and dance floor anthems. Now, after a self-imposed five-year absence in order to concentrate on family life, the voice that brought you “Missing” (Everything But The Girl) and “Protection” (Massive Attack) is back with a solo record that will surely please fans of her every era. There are minimal torch songs (opener “Here it Comes Again”), synth pop (single “It’s All True”), funky catwalk struts (“Get Around to It”), and, of course, the kind of bittersweet-pop-with-glitchy-electronica that she helped pioneer (“Easy,” “Falling Off a Log”), all piloted by a melodiousness that’s sometimes hard to fathom. Seriously, imagine a Bristol-bred Sarah McLachlan with all her affecting powers intact, but also strengthened by an earthy toughness, and you’ve got Out of the Woods. It’s painfully exquisite, touching, romantic, gorgeous, and melodic, but it never feels wimpy. It simply feels pretty and strong.
Out of the Woods is a fine addition to a catalog already overflowing with quality. You need this.