Tracey Thorn – Record
Everything but the Girl's Tracey Thorn gives us "nine feminist bangers" on her latest solo album Record
Tracey Thorn describes Record, her first solo album proper since 2010’s Love and Its Opposite, as “nine feminist bangers.” On Queen she sings 'Back seat of a blacked-out car, is that me?' recalling the front cover of the 1996 Everything but the Girl album Walking Wounded. Some things have changed since then: the voice is deeper, she’s further into couldn’t-give-a-damnism and, this time, she’s up for protecting herself before standing in front of anyone else.
Record is a trajectory of the life of many a modern woman, seemingly both general and personal. Air is about schoolmates being beastly to the short-haired girls. Guitar covers the two glorious things that happen if you’re a girl and you learn how to play guitar: you can make music on your own terms and, usefully, you don’t fancy guitarists. And feminism in song needn’t be all toughing it out and defiance.
Some of Record comes quite close to the Everything but the Girl’s old desert/rain interface: Face is a vulnerable tribute to what happens when the wine is open and social media somehow throws up an ex-sweetheart’s recent timeline in your face. And let’s hide it from Morrissey in case he thinks he has the monopoly on longing, and never let him hear Babies. Pleasingly, it’s all done with New Order/Pet Shop Boys-esque synths and beats. Dancing with tears in your eyes is still dancing.
Listen to: Queen, Dancefloor