No. 18: Tracey Thorn Seizes The Day

noah | December 19, 2007 12:00 pm

And the song at No. 18 wants you to put on your red shoes and take a chance.

Tracey Thorn’s second solo album, Out Of The Woods, is a pretty arresting collection of mature electropop, and it may have been one of the most unjustly overlooked albums of 2007. It’s frontloaded with some terrific dance tracks–the muted freestyle of “It’s All True,” a reverent reinterpretation of Arthur Russell’s “Get Around To It”–but the album-closing “Raise The Roof,” in which Thorn rues the parts of her life that she’s spent sitting on the sidelines over a stop-start beat that methodically marks the time she’s lost, is absolutely stunning. Thorn’s alto alternately pushes someone to take chances and laments her squandered days, and the brittle keyboards that blow in occasionally only heighten the tension. “Roof” doesn’t have the motivate-you-through-volume of, say, Amerie’s “Gotta Work,” but its gentle push from someone who has–and hasn’t–seized the day in the past is just as galvanizing.

Also, the video may be my favorite clip of the year, with its simple plot of two incredibly shy people (a man in a rumpled suit, a woman in a (hopeful?) pair of jeweled red slippers) finally finding each other across a dance floor, and tentatively bopping across the long expanse of wood until they reach the other’s personal space. No, they don’t kiss. But taking the first step toward that is just as important, right?

Tracey Thorn – Raise The Roof [YouTube]Tracey Thorn [MySpace]Idolator’s 2007 Top 40 List Of Awesomeness