Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man
Out of Season Go! Beat http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/arton5104_0.jpg

[Go! Beat; 2002]

Rating: 5/5 5 / 5 (0)

Styles: alternative folk, singer/songwriter
Others: Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Lawrence Welk


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“The thing that I’m into is the philosophy of the music. I love the surprise of things, the accidents…just the sound of a word, to try to express them in the best way, so that the emotion is totally revealed.” ”“ Beth Gibbons

Out of Season, the new debut album from Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and Talk Talk’s Paul Webb, has practically left me speechless. These two have really made musical beatitude with this release. I struggle to find anything wrong with it. This album seeps into your psyche and warms your insides. It’s achingly beautiful, hopeful, and melancholic from start to finish. Artists of this genre will be scratching their heads for quite some time trying to figure out how they’ll top it. Conversely, one might think Out of Season is nothing new, but they’d be wrong. It’s a near perfect album, which can’t be said in too many cases these days.

Imagine yourself driving down a two-lane country road on a beautiful fall morning. The leaves are changing, and you feel like your grandparents when you find yourself saying, “Aren’t the leaves just incredibly beautiful this time of year?” That is exactly what can be said for every single song on Out of Season. The lyrics, “Autumn leaves/beauty’s got a hold on me,” from the song “Sand River,” basically summarize this similitude. Most of these songs in some way recall a Portishead song without any sign of a monumental drumbeat. “Spider Monkey,” in fact, is a song that’s almost like having sex without the ability to climax. If there were ever a song that needed the aid of drums, “Spider Monkey” would be first in line. The song begins with a Fender Rhodes that is slowly joined by an attacking acoustic guitar that will eventually inflate this song to orgasmic proportion. Unfortunately, you’ll be left kicking and screaming on the floor for the song to come back and give you what you feel you deserve.

The song “Show” finds Gibbons exploring the vocal styling of the great Billie Holiday. I picture Webb and Gibbons alone together in the studio embracing loss through their music. Maybe even a guest appearance by Thom Yorke wouldn’t be out of place here. “Romance,” is backed by what I consider to be a renewed clan of Lawrence Welk’s orchestra. I’m instantly taken back to 1976 when my grandparents used to take me out to eat after church at one of the many American Cafeterias. How Rustin and Gibbons pull this off with such style and grace is beyond me.

I have to be honest with you here. I ache with wonder at how an album this good could be made. Nothing, for even a spare moment, sounds as if it has been forced. If Gibbons is giving us a mere glimpse of what is to come on the new Portishead album (not that this album even has anything to do with Portishead), I think we’ll see their best album yet. Furthermore, not all of the acclaim should go to Beth Gibbons. Much respect is also due to Paul Webb. If this is truly the album he has always wanted to record, he has certainly done it. So, without further ado, I give you Out of Season. It’s my choice for album of the year in 2002.

The song “Show” finds Gibbons exploring the vocal styling of the great Billie Holiday. I picture Webb and Gibbons alone together in the studio embracing loss through their music. Maybe even a guest appearance by Thom Yorke wouldn’t be out of place here. “Romance,” is backed by what I consider to be a renewed clan of Lawrence Welk’s orchestra. I’m instantly taken back to 1976 when my grandparents used to take me out to eat after church at one of the many American Cafeterias. How Rustin and Gibbons pull this off with such style and grace is beyond me.
I have to be honest with you here. I ache with wonder at how an album this good could be made. Nothing, for even a spare moment, sounds as if it has been forced. If Gibbons is giving us a mere glimpse of what is to come on the new Portishead album (not that this album even has anything to do with Portishead), I think we’ll see their best album yet. Furthermore, not all of the acclaim should go to Beth Gibbons. Much respect is also due to Paul Webb. If this is truly the album he has always wanted to record, he has certainly done it. So, without further ado, I give you Out of Season. It’s my choice for album of the year in 2002.

1. Mysteries
2. Tom the Model
3. Show
4. Romance
5. Sand River
6. Spider Monkey
7. Resolve
8. Drake
9. Funny Time of Year
10. Rustin Man