Friday, July 16, 2010


Beth Orton
11' x 7.25"
oil on wood, 2010

During my time off work I undertook several road trips. Driving long distance is great for music listening. The best music for driving is popular music, with the occasional sing-along hit. It so happened that not too long ago I purchased a whole stack of popular music from the discard bin at the library. The problem often, with popular CDs is that besides the hit song the rest of the CD is hardly worth listening to. In the old days of popular music the artists went into the studio to record but a few tracks, singles. A whole album, more than an hour, is often too much for a band, any band to be able to hold my attention. Usually I'm done with listening to a CD after about three songs (the best song is often the first track). The notable exception from the recent stack of CDs is Comfort of Strangers by Beth Orton. It is one of those albums that you can play over and over again and it only gets better. I have a history liking the songs of a certain female singer-songwriters; in the last decade there have been one or two albums each year that I played many, many times (something I don't usually do). The Beth Orton CD, purchased for only a dollar is bound to be one of this year's top albums as I listened to it more than any other album thus far. Heartlandtruckstop is the first song from the CD to be included in the Top 100 2010 and several others are close behind. I just got done with the first painting of her and I'm looking forward to painting two or three more. The following list represent ten albums from singer-songwriters that yielded multiple songs in a Top 100 of recent years. The list is in no particular order.
  • Cat Power - You Are Free
  • Alela Diane - To Be Still
  • Lucinda Williams - Essence
  • Jolie Holland - Springtime Can Kill You
  • Joni Mitchell - Blue
  • Jessica Lea Mayfield - Blasphemy, So Heartfelt
  • Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers
  • Cat Power - The Greatest
  • Jolie Holland - Escondida
  • Marianne Faithfull - Before the Poison

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