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Sugaring Season

Beth OrtonAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $13.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2012 $9.49  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ANTI Records
  • ASIN: B008J9EYFG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,976 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Candles
2. Dawn Chorus
3. Something more Beautiful
4. Magpie
5. Poison Tree
6. Call me the Breeze
7. See through Blue
8. State of Grace
9. Last Leaves of Autumn
10. Mystery

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beth's masterpiece" --Mojo Magazine

"A quietly spellbinding album" --New York Times

"Folk music for those who think they're tired of folk music" --Q Magazine

Product Description

Beth Orton's Anti debut captures the classic hypnotic sound that won her prominence, at the same time as it shows a singer at the full maturity of her instrument, with a new soulfulness that can recall Roberta Flack or Nina Simone one moment, June Christy at the next. Sugaring Season is in many ways a culmination of Orton's art of contradictions, a full circle from that first John Martyn cover she recorded with William Orbit back in the day soulful and ambient, lush and bittersweet, starkly still and fiercely rhythmic.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad to See Her Back October 2, 2012
Format:Audio CD
A lot has changed since Beth Orton's last album six years ago: she's now a wife and a mother. For all that may have changed in her life, her music is as good as it has ever been on SUGARING SEASON. Orton has all but dropped the electronic influences of her past in favor for a more mystical, roots-based brand of trippy instrumentation. The production here works wonderfully, sometimes feeling loose and relaxed, at others tense and slightly paranoid; each song is able to create a nice landscape for Orton to wander in. Songs range from the childlike "See Through Blue," the melancholy and jazzy "Something More Beautiful," the skittering and beautiful "Dawn Chorus," and the elegaic closing track "State of Grace." What shines here though, is Orton's voice. Simultaneously captivating, soulful, and trancelike, her vocals fill up every song to the brim.

The closest point of comparison I can think of is Cat Power (circa her release of THE GREATEST). The weakest point of this album is that it starts off so strongly - the second half of the album doesn't quite live up to the first; it's not as adventurous or experimental, suggesting that Orton is best when she's pushing herself creatively. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Magpie," "Dawn Chorus," and "Candles." This is a great autumn/winter record - one that you can lose yourself in for a while.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beth Orton - Remerges from "the sweetest decline" October 3, 2012
Format:Audio CD
What is known as the Sugaring Season runs in Vermont from around March to mid-April. It is when producers all around the state collect maple sap and boil it down to the sweet sticky syrup. It is the same maple trees that lead to that stunning sweep of colour in the vibrant fall foliage. Beth Orton's new album seems to combines both events. It is very much a hymn to Autumnal and pastoral moods but combined with a lovely bruised fragility which makes this album such a real treat.

Gone is all the shimmering electronica and digital files of the dallainces with Andy Weatherall or the Chemical Brothers, indeed the template is much more in tune with her frequent collaborations with Ryan Adams. Following a lengthy hiatus to bring up her daughter this is her first album in six years that firmly sticks to the acoustic knitting and is all the better for it. In that time she built up a considerable backlog of songs and in the selections here has largely chosen wisely. Opener "Magpie" has a bluesy tint to the essential folk based melancholy. It builds to a big finish as Orton's vocals stretch and the intensity ratchets up. More gentle are the following tracks, the lifting pop of "Dawn chorus" and the almost Nick Drake sounding guitar backdrop to "Candles" where Orton's haunting vocals are at their very best. The slow piano ballad laden with violins "Something more beautiful" is an undoubted highlight and will replay repeated listens. One sour note comes in the form of the Weimar cabaret of "See Through Blue" where she tries to adopt a Dietrich style loftiness but it all feels rather contrived and breaks the flow of the album. Still it comes in under two minutes and is followed by "Last leaves of Autumn" which is one of the best things Beth Orton has ever done.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most mature work yet; different from the rest October 8, 2012
Format:MP3 Music
The songs on this album are different from most of her earlier work, with alternate tunings and different vocal registers on some of the songs. And there's no electronica here. You won't get as many catchy, "pop" songs, but you will get more mature songs. This is as good as anything else she's done, but in a different way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy, smooth and melodic October 29, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD is classy, smooth and melodic.
Beth Orton's voice has subtly matured and developed richness in tone and depth from her Trailer Park and Central Reservation days. This release is worth the wait.

Beth had been kicking these songs around for some time, as I'd seen her perform some of these live in an acoustic stripped-down fashion at the Melbourne Athenaeum on the 20th January, '12.
I'd read in InPress that Beth Orton was playing at the Athenaeum that night. She was back touring some 6 years after her last album.
Thought, why not, booked a ticket that afternoon, headed into town from work. Walking to train station, I got the sad news my niece had just died of cancer.
Feeling a bit sombre, I was pleasantly surprised with this concert, done in an unplugged style with piano and guitar accompaniment. The lilt and the melodies just lifted my mood.
The content was full of new songs, I thought that some were better and stronger than anything she'd done prior.

I guess the gestation period of musical product is subject to the marketing whims of recording companies.
All the tracks are melodic and tuneful, simple arrangements, piano and guitar-based, building depth with subtle strings, woven into the lilt and rise of Beth's voice.
Where does this music fit in genre ? Call it indie alt-folk if you like. Just slap it on the CD platter when you want to de-stress and mellow-out your mood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars never tire of Beth Orton March 27, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
it took time to grow on me but now one of the CD's that I never tire of. She has a special voice and her music lovely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful March 4, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Have never owned a Beth Orton CD before but had heard odd tracks over the years. Decided to buy this and all I can say is this is a wonderful album. The voice is superb and varied, and the backing band and vocals are a sheer delight. A must have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What she said
I liked Beth's first album and her second but then she stated to loose me. This is more like her beginnings but with the seasoning of a mature pro. Recommended.
Published 18 days ago by John D. Gerndt
5.0 out of 5 stars This is her best.
I have loved Beth Orton's music since Trailer Park and Central Reservation, but lost connection to it over the past few years. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mari Cordes
4.0 out of 5 stars Magpie!
I am loving Beth Orton's Sugaring Season, especially "Magpie." Blows me away every time! Can't believe I didn't pick this one up sooner.
Published 2 months ago by ash_liz
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Great album, nice listen to, easy on the mind. her abeyance is great diffidently Beth Orton I Am very glad to have bought this CD
Published 4 months ago by keith sargent
5.0 out of 5 stars Beth Orton
I have always been a big fan of her music. I own just about every song she's ever recorded. I highly recommend this cd.
Published 10 months ago by Marilyn Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get much better than this
Very strong new album from Beth. I'm a fan. Own all her albums and seen her live twice. Most recently front row at an acoustic set during her comeback and presumed preparation for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kim Liddelow
5.0 out of 5 stars Fully Coming into her Own
This is a great album, one of the rare CD's that I tend to play all the way through once I start it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Weiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of Power
Beth continues to intrigue with Sugaring Season. Her voice is best at its most fragile, especially on the closer Mystery. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Riveted
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album
Enjoyed listening to this while driving a distance in the car. Just a beautiful album. Lovely vocals, easy on the ear and good for your mood.
Published 13 months ago by J. Pearsall
4.0 out of 5 stars A gift for my wife...
Beth Orton was a complete unknown to both my wife and I before she came across a song of hers and really enjoyed her music and her melodic voice. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cecil B. Lee
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