365 Days of Album Recommendations – June 5

Beth Gibbons – Out of Season

31k8w12ztxl

Honestly, not a week goes by where I don’t both marvel and lament at the fact that so few people seem aware of this album. If even one person listens to this album for the first time because of this post, I feel I’ll have done something important for the soul of the world.

This is an utterly beguiling, fascinating, harrowing, gratifying, and deeply moving album. It is smart, sensitive, lyrical, intricate, eccentric, and powerful. It is crafted to perfection from top to bottom—the lyrics, the structures, the melodies, the arrangements, the production; it’s just all fantastic.

If you’re like most folks, you probably know Beth Gibbons as the voice of Portishead, whose album “Dummy” is unquestionably one of the great albums of our modern era.

This album is something else altogether. The songs here are each some sort of 21st century iteration of the torch tradition; they are weary, and heartbroken, yet they strikingly retain some bemused but unshakeable hope within their melodic logic.

Gibbons is a vocal shape-shifter, some sort of neo-noir folk-torch impressionist who occupies these songs like a ghost does an Irish story about hills, and death beyond life.

Above all else, what emerges here is Beth Gibbons the songwriter. Consider “A Funny Time of Year,” the song from which the album takes its title, as but one example. Consider it, then consider every other song on this quietly staggering feat of musical artistry.

Turning now I see no reason
The voice of love so out of season
I need you now
But you can’t see me now
I’m travelling with no destination
Still hanging on to what may be

It’s a funny time of year
I can see
There’ll be no blossom on the trees
And time spent crying has taken me in this year
Oh it’s a funny time of year
There’ll be no blossom on the trees

Falling like a silent paper
Holding on to what may be
It’s a funny time of year

I can see
There’ll be no blossom on the trees
And time spent crying has taken me in this year

It’s a funny time of year


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: