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Trailer Park by Beth Orton
Released: Jan 1996
Label: Deconstruction
Beth Orton's breakout album, in 1996, was marketed with the period's trip-hop hype in mind, which never really made much sense: Look past the occasional electronic squiggles (which were more often organ than synthesizer, anyway) and drum beats vaguely modeled on hip-hop's boom bap, and you've got a singer-songwriter with a fetching voice and a solid grasp of American country. Producer William Orbit did bring electronic music's sense of space to Orton's spare, intimate songs, giving the album a soft heft that's all its own, and turning violins into eerie, otherworldly emanations.
Philip Sherburne