Beth Orton - 'Weather Alive'

9/10

Throughout her tenure, Beth Orton has been seen as one of the most progressive and proficient artists working today. Although most of her high-profile notoriety arrived back in the 90s, including back-to-back Mercury Prize nominations for her LPs 'Trailer Park' and 'Central Reservation', she has still maintained a warm and lofty direction that has suited her ageing spirit. And after a six-year hiatus since her previous outing 'Kidsticks', she now returns with her eighth studio album 'Weather Alive', a record that looks to see her enter a new era within her sound.

Now in her fifties, Beth Orton is more keen to create a truer and more longer-lasting legacy than on her previous records, which is probably why 'Weather Alive' has this instantly timeless feel from the very start. Always one to capture the raw and heartfelt emotion within each of her songs, this soft yet exuberant return makes for a wonderfully alluring listen throughout. While she isn't one to adopt bold and euphoric production to aid her songwriting, the wistful nature of this new collection perfectly elevates her passionate direction, and delivers one of the most captivating releases of her career so far.

She may not be as prolific and diverse as she once was, but this contemplative and honed Beth Orton is one that really packs in the magic. 'Weather Alive' could easily go down as her best album to date, depending on your state of mind at the time. There is so much to unpack and unravel here, a single listen would never do it justice.

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