Entertainment » Music

Tinsel and Lights

by Bill Biss
Contributor
Thursday Nov 1, 2012
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All the conflicting emotions such as melancholy, remorse and stirred-up memories associated with the season of "Joy" swirl through the air musically on "Tinsel and Lights." It’s an artist’s prerogative not to follow the sometimes hollow glee of the Christmas music of seasons past and create their own vibe during this time of year. Tracey Thorn presents several songs that match both the disillusionment and the optimism of the season while the arrangements created are typically clean and poignant.

The emotional pull of the holiday is elegantly captured in "Like a Snowman" while the presence of hope shines brightly and with clarity on "Maybe This Christmas." Thorn’s voice is reminiscent of the beauty and tone of singer Annie Lennox and this is quite apparent on the lovely Randy Newman chestnut called "Snow." With Tracey’s rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," which tugs hardest at the heartstrings, she has captured all the sentiment and reflection which lies at the very heart of the majority of the songs presented on "Tinsel and Lights." This one song seems to tie all the other selections together in a true and thoroughly sentimental fashion. There is also a unique musical memorial given in a "till we meet again next year" fashion to mark the always "quicker than you think" passing of this holiday season. In this song, the aptly-titled "Taking Down the Tree," she is joined in duet with Green Gartside of Scritti Politti.

If that perennial favorite "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year..." is perhaps already straining the nerves and the pocketbook, look to Tracey Thorn’s "Tinsel and Lights" to take the edge off the commercialism with a natural glow as soft as winter’s snow.

"Tinsel and Lights"
Tracey Thorn
Merge Records
$9.99
http://www.traceythorn.com

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