Tracey Thorn ~ Love and Its Opposite

Love and its OppositeI’ve been listening to Tracey Thorn’s newest album, Love and Its Opposite, and the more I hear it, the more I like it. First off, Thorn has a gorgeous, lush voice. I don’t know if you were ever a fan of her joint venture with her (now) husband Ben Watt, Everything But the Girl, but I really loved their stuff back in the late 80s, especially Idlewild. Past her voice, though, are her lyrics. Together with the melodies, her music can really speak to me. Apron Strings so perfectly captured my baby lust in those years before we were emotionally and financially ready for a baby, but god, my hormones were READY. Equally poignant to me was I Always Was Your Girl, which wasn’t so spot on, but I loved the sentiment of ‘You and Me Against the World’ for a marriage.

Well, Idlewild came out about a million years ago, when I was young and newly on my own (1988), and so many themes resonated with me, and with being that certain age.   Now, with Love and Its Opposite, Thorn is taking on the issues of life after 40. Divorce, hormones, braving a singles bar for the first time in perhaps decades. Sounds boring and depressing, right?  Not really.  Take, for example, Hormones, with a daughter’s hormones raging, just as the mother’s are starting to wane in that uncomfortable and moody way that they do.

Yours are just kickin’ in,
mine are just checkin’ out;
You’re at the beginning of this tunnel,
and I’m just comin’ out;
And either way these days we’re not as in control as we think.

You’re stampin’ up the stairs;
I’m cryin’ at the kitchen sink;
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

You worry ’bout growin’ up;
I worry ’bout lettin’ go, oh ho ho.
‘Cause I know what’s comin’ up,
Don’t let me be the last one to know.
And either way some of these days we’re gonna have to tough it out.
You turn the music up … I … I try to think before I shout;
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

And I have to own up: that dress looks better on you now;
Only half grown up, you should really twirl, take a bow.
You ask me what goin’ on, why do we feel this way?
I can only shake my head,
“Hormones, babe,” I say.
Yours are just kickin’ in, mine are just checkin’ out;
Aw, you’re just kickin’ in….

The pop synth sound is there enough that this sounds a lot like EBTG’s late 80s, early 90s stuff, before they had their dance hit, the remix of ‘Missing‘, which while I liked it, always sounded just a bit off to me.

The whole album is really good, worth a purchase and sitting down and listening to the whole thing. When was the last time you did that, listen to a whole album from beginning to end? Here’s Singles Bar, about as un-Cougarish an approach to dating in your 40s as I’ve heard.

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