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beth orton makes her anti debut with 'sugaring season', an album that 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 deep soulfulness and an intimate sense of detail. 'sugaring season', with producer tucker martine at the helm, is also beth's most musically ambitious and accomplished album to date. much of the record combines rich orchestral textures with a masterful jazz rhythm section and modal folk guitars, music hall piano and heartbreaking r&b ballads, while tracks like 'magpie,' with its massive, loping groove will remind fans that there are chemical brothers in beth's past. '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.
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