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Central Reservation

173 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 9, 1999
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Central Reservation + Trailer Park (Legacy Edition) + Sugaring Season
Price for all three: $37.19

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Beth Orton ~ Central Reservation

Amazon.com

Is Beth Orton the folkie Beck? Or is Beck an Orton with beats? Since both graze from genre to genre like goats feasting on whatever strikes their fancy, drawing parallels is tempting...and perhaps pointless. After all, both artists were born in 1970 and emerged at a time when musical categorization became an exercise in futility. English thrush Orton's third album--like her critically hailed debut and the Best Bit EP--prompts one to flash on an ever-swelling range of influences. Since she's blessed with the rich, warm voice of a true pop singer, it's easy to imagine her sharing space on some out-of-time radio playlist with Dusty Springfield (listen to the elegant, string-laden "Sweetest Decline"), except Orton's music draws on '90s trip-hop elements as well the jazzy folk of Tim Buckley and vet Terry Callier (reprising his Best Bit cameo). Orchestration, upright bass, vibes, and Orton's own resolute guitar give long, languid tracks such as "So Much More" and "Pass in Time" an Astral Weeks-like feel. All those touchstones and no fewer than six producers might imply that Central Reservation is something of a mishmash. In truth, Orton's overriding vision is all that's needed to create cohesion. --Steven Stolder


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B00000I73X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dano M on January 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Amazing. The first time I heard this album, it was like a cliche you might see in a movie. An incredibly long, lonely drive down a deserted two lane highway from Albuquerque, NM to Durango, CO. Moonless night, clear sky, hundreds of miles from any major light source, I was listening to this album, looking at the night sky. This album sunk its teeth in, a haunting, bittersweet group of songs perfect for reflection, comptemplation. This album succeedes on so many different levels to become, in this humble reviewer's opinion, an instant, timeless classic.
Listen to the emotional/thematic changes between 'Stolen Car' and 'Sweetest Decline'. The stunning, shimmering, phenomenal 'Pass in Time'. The duo between her and Terry Callier has made it into the ist of my favorite songs - people hear this one and ask me 'Who IS this? WHAT album is this?' Any album that elicits such an emotional, immediate response from so many different people MUST be doing something right.
Buy this album, you will NOT be disappointed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Green Arrow on July 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is by far my favorite album of all time. Beth Orton somehow topped herself after the stunning "Trailer Park" and the great EP "Best Bit". I bought this album in September, and I can almost smell the autumn air when listen to this. This is the first album I bought by Beth Orton, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but did I! This is something I would rank with Nick Drake's "Five Leaves Left" and Belle and Sebastian's "If You're Feeling Sinister". The music is more folky than "Trailer Park", but electronica fans don't fret. There are some (great) techno moments like "Stars All Seem to Weep" and Central Reservation (The Then Again Version)", but for the most part the instruments are played by people. Ben Harper guests on "Stolen Car" and the beautiful "Love Like Laughter", and Doctor John sits in on piano in the flawless "Sweetest Decline". Beth's album recieved a lot of hype and critical praise last year, and if you're skeptical on whether or not to buy the hype, DO IT! You won't, can't, be let down.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I recommend this album to anyone who appreciates a beautiful female voice singing colorful and thoughtful lyrics with feeling. I am a big fan of 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, and Indigo Girls. Central Reservation is a solid collection of thought and mood provoking songs. Recommended activities while listening to Central Reservation: Light a few candles and have a friend over for dinner or coffee, sit on your back porch and look out at the stars while having a beer, take an introspective drive through the countryside. I hope this was helpful and gives you a feel for this recording.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By uklovecag@hotmail.com on July 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Beth Orton fan since I first carried Trailer Park home in my eager little hands and listened to it during a thunderstorm in July of 1997. Alright, so I'm a tad bit biased. However, I cannot restrain myself from proclaiming that Central Reservation is an incredible record. The others are right when they say that it grows on you - most of the songs are not "catchy" the way a lot of radio music is nowadays. The thing I admire most about Beth's music is the absolute honesty of her lyrics, which at times comes across as bittersweet, but is actually incredibly optimistic and proactive! There's nothing flowery about it, but its simplicity is breathtakingly beautiful, particularly on songs like "Stars All Seem to Weep" and "Blood Red River". Also, if you ever get a chance to see her in concert, do it! I saw her a few weeks ago at a small club in DC, and the guy next to me had never heard of her before - after the show I asked him what he thought and he said he was going to go straight out and buy both of her albums. She's a natural performer, and quite funny on stage - a welcome contrast to the serious quality of some of her songs! Anything by Beth is worth a listen ... or two ... or three ...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
central reservation is another album that lifted my often cynical spirits and proved once again the validity of a true singer-songwriter. beth orton has crafted an album virtually free of any pretense and ego, but full of sincerity and beauty. Her voice says it all. There is not a corrupted note on this album. Structurally, the songs seem a bit sparse at first, but with each additional listen, the feelings and intent behind the lyrics and melodies shine through. Stolen Car, the opening track, is the most 'together' in terms of pop-song structure. A great song, and single, "Stolen Car" exemplifies beths ability to write a radio friendly song, while still maintaining a credibility often lost in this sort of song structure. All tracks on this record are beautifully recorded and mixed, particularly "The Sweetest Decline". This track gets me every time. Quite possibly the most amazing song in the last couple years, it features Dr. John on piano adding just the right touch to the simple chord progression. Every track, with the exception of two Ben Watt collaborations, are acoustic guitar based folk songs with a touch of pop, a sprinkle of rock, and a heaping mound of genius. For anyone who likes Cat Power, Ben Harper, Everything But The Girl, etc.
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