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In my youth it was the big pop stars of the day who released Christmas records and the indie underground who thought it was all a bit naff. The whole thing has turned right round in recent years and all manner of christmas records are scheduled once again and my how early-  I think this promo landed with us in august.  Two of my favorite records ever were Tracey Thorn’s ‘A ...

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Tinsel and Lights by Tracey Thorn
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 26 October 2012

In my youth it was the big pop stars of the day who released Christmas records and the indie underground who thought it was all a bit naff. The whole thing has turned right round in recent years and all manner of christmas records are scheduled once again and my how early-  I think this promo landed with us in august.  Two of my favorite records ever were Tracey Thorn’s ‘A Distant Shore’ and Ben Watt’s ‘North Marine Drive’. They may have got together and conquered the world and elsewhere but not a note of their music has quivered with the same brooding intensity. Still, Tracey has in recent years resurrected her solo yearnings and despite the Christmas leanings of this record, it’s great to hear her gorgeous voice still intact.

It’s all very tasteful, but that’s fine - it’s Christmas after all and you don’t want anything too edgy with your mince pies and stuffing. The selection of covers is pretty interesting from Sufjan Stevens to Magnetic Fields (them again) to the White Stripes to a great Dolly Parton tune but all are overshadowed by the albums undoubted highlight,  her duet with Green Gartside (Scritti Politti) on Low’s mesmerising ‘Taking Down the Tree’.

I kind of wish she’d left ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ off the album as its just too damn obvious. Everything else has just subtle nods to the festive season. So, wrap up warm, get in from the drizzle and sit by the fire warmed by Tracey’s honeyed vocals. This could be one Christmas album this miserable old sod might actually enjoy.


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