Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. As artlessly lovely as a spring day, this is some of her simplest work, and simply some of her best, too.
  2. As an album, Comfort of Strangers comes across as a missed opportunity. For the most part the album sounds fantastic, and you really want the songs to hit the spot more than they do.
  3. Far from perfect-- at times even dull-- these songs balance their heavy despair with genuine, if hesitant, hope.
  4. 80
    Without altering her style drastically, Orton has broadened her approach on what is her most accomplished record to date. [Mar 2006, p.94]
  5. Engaging stuff. [Apr 2006, p.118]
  6. 80
    What Orton has sacrificed in terms of post-clubbing appeal she has replaced with grit and poignancy seldom heard since the LA canyons were in their pomp. [Mar 2006, p.96]
  7. Orton sounds more focused than ever, channeling drawled heartache, warm come-ons and snatches of lost AM-radio hits into songs that seek out your inner lullaby.
  8. Even as it examines the low-lows, Comfort won't be bogged down in them.
  9. Maybe Beth Orton, unlike some of her still-desperate-for-kudos contemporaries, is merely growing old gracefully, but clearly gracefully aging doesn't necessarily make for great records.
  10. By far her most traditionally "folky" [album]. [#12, p.92]
  11. 83
    Unerringly lovely, but best when the drums heat up. [Feb 2006, p.87]
  12. Back to basics and back on form.
  13. It's sweet, comforting music with a nice warmth to it. Not too political, nothing too clever. Not as good as Trailer Park, but her best thing since.
  14. Orton's most naked, traditional-sounding CD. [10 Feb 2006, p.132]
  15. The record was recorded in two weeks, and many songs sound as if they are first takes, with cracks and stumbles preserved.
  16. It's a much warmer album than her most recent album, 2002's Daybreaker, and it's perhaps her most complete album yet.
  17. Orton's assured hand throughout marks Comfort Of Strangers as a sturdy piece of songwriting that will stand among the more memorable albums of 2006 come year's end.
  18. While Orton has a tendency to mimic her own melodies, she explores jazz structures here in engaging, exciting ways, and the indigent heartland iconography of her lyrics is beautiful without being cloying.
  19. Comfort Of Strangers is the best thing Orton has recorded since her debut.
  20. 60
    Orton still oversteps the foul line that separates affectingly vulnerable from irritatingly feeble, but this is a step twards something more distinctive. [Mar 2006, p.114]
  21. Comfort of Strangers isn’t only Orton’s best album to date, it’s her most daring.
  22. A lovely set of pop-flavored neo-folk. [11 Feb 2006]
  23. It just sounds like she cannot be roused to feel very passionate about anything.
  24. It's intimate, home, and it's never felt more comfortable.
  25. At 14 tracks long, Orton could have trimmed three or four cuts and left a near-flawless, efficient package that was all killer and no filler. As it stands, it is merely excellent.
  26. Orton's determination to dig deeper into song and vocal expression instead of toying with a stylistic bauble has paid off in her best album since her debut. [7 Feb 2006]
  27. 70
    A perfectly pleasant and unoffending offering. [Mar 2006, p.116]
  28. It's Emiliana Torrini, Cat Power and Nick Drake all rolled into one, and it's soothing enough to curl up and die for.
  29. The music on Comfort of Strangers is at times so complex and distracting that it often overshadows Orton's winsome voice.
  30. Comfort of Strangers is a more confident record than 2002’s Daybreaker, exhibiting an economy of craft and unvarnished execution that might glide by less attentive ears but rewards the keen consumer with a warmth and depth worthy of the artist who created Central Reservation.
  31. The songs are subtle and powerful, full of pain and humor.
  32. Both her most musically spare and artistically complex [album] to date.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. [Anonymous]
    Oct 25, 2006
    i've been listening to this album non-stop now for about a week. it gets better each time. although i have to say it would probably be a better album without 'worms'. Full Review »
  2. susie
    May 28, 2006
    The first few times I listened to this album I was so depressed because I though that Beth was going down the lame and boring route. With each additional listen the album has grown on me and I enjoy it now more than Daybreaker (but quite honestly that is not saying much). Overall I think that it is a worthwhile album but not amazing. The songs are interesting enough, but the main problem for me with the album is that I feel that it lacks energy. Full Review »
  3. ta
    Apr 5, 2006
    one of the best records of the year. beth is the most sexy musician