Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Daybreaker

Posted on

Beth Orton
Beth Orton: Valerie Phillips

Daybreaker

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
Beth Orton
Producers:
Astralwerks
genre:
Rock

We gave it a B-

What is it about London and the sad-voiced women who drift out of it? Beth Orton wafts through Daybreaker as if the clouds refuse to scatter and the tea’s gone cold. Her last disc, 1999’s sparkling ”Central Reservation,” certified Orton as a new breed of folkie, incorporating techno and jazz as support for the breathy, spiky melancholy of her voice. ”Daybreaker” extends her range, taking detours into languid country, thanks to cameos from Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams.

Yet this time, the arrangements that envelop Orton’s ruminations on various ill-suited partners are too hazy and languid. ”Daybreaker” starts promisingly with ”Paris Train,” featuring strings that sweep her up with them, and ”Mount Washington,” which glistens with coffee-table-tronica courtesy of recurring collaborator Ben Watt. But the CD grows gauzier — a reminder that without meaty accompaniment, Orton can be as dull as British dishwater.