Tracey Thorn, "Love and Its Opposite"

4.5

Everything but the Girl's Tracey Thorn has a voice that is lush and haunting, while also understated and relatable. It's such a touching instrument that it barely needs accompaniment. Thorn's third solo album, "Love and Its Opposite," honors her vocals with arrangements that are beautifully minimalist. The 10 tracks are meditations on the many phases and life stages of love and lovers, beginning with wistful stunner "Oh, the Divorces!" On the track, Thorn reflects on the relationships collapsing around her and how they reflect upon her own. A married woman looks elsewhere for intimacy on the poignant "Singles Bar," while "Hormones" playfully muses on anxiety and unpredictability. And album closer "Swimming" is a gorgeous, dreamy and hopeful lament about the end of an affair. Throughout, restrained lines of guitar, synth and strings construct sultry noir beats and flowing harmonies that nimbly support Thorn's narratives. Everything but the Girl fans might miss the duo's dancey leanings, but Thorn proves that her voice is enough to transcend genre preferences. --Evie Nagy