Tinsel And Lights

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Magnet
    Jan 4, 2013
    Essentially, it's the super-cool but super-classy Christmas record all hipsters hope they'll find under their tree this year. [No. 94, p.61]
  2. In its own downbeat, understated way, Tinsel and Lights does more for festive good cheer than any number of more traditional Christmas albums that go straight for the razzle-dazzle.
  3. 80
    Tracey Thorn takes a wider brief than usual for her Christmas Album Tinsel & Lights, mostly avoiding the routine carols and standards in favour of left-field choices.
  4. Dec 21, 2012
    Thorn succeeds through low-key, simple arrangements and her empathetic, sensible voice, which has the all-seeing authority of a storybook narrator.
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    The true spirit of Christmas is safe in Tracey Thorn's hands.
  6. Nov 20, 2012
    Those who appreciate what she does well can recognise that in her own understated way, Thorn belongs in the pantheon of the truly great British female singers, and this is another worthy addition to a back catalogue of consistently high quality.
  7. Uncut
    Oct 31, 2012
    A bit Mariah Carey on paper, but startling in practice. [Dec 2012, p.77]
  8. Oct 31, 2012
    While it is a meditation on Christmas, it makes no attempt to manipulate the listener's feelings. Instead, with its sheer musical quality, and the depth of tenderness and empathy in Thorn's voice, it highlights the season's complexities in the face of everyday life.
  9. Oct 30, 2012
    The Everything But the Girl gal follows up her superb 2010 solo album, "Love and Its Opposite," with this gently lovely seasonal release.
  10. Q Magazine
    Oct 29, 2012
    Tracey Thorn dispatches these carefully chosen covers and four new tracks with realism and a lightness of touch. [Nov 2012, p.106]
  11. Oct 29, 2012
    Tracey Thorn's fourth solo set, though, is the best of the bunch [of Christmas albums], its sparse songs home to a seasonal standard, choice covers of Dolly Parton, White Stripes and Randy Newman songs and, in Joy and the title track, two fabulous self-penned tunes.
  12. Oct 29, 2012
    The most surprising thing about Tinsel and Lights might not be that it's a Christmas album by Tracey Thorn, but that it manages to transcend its genre and the season it's intended to soundtrack, perhaps because it forsakes any of the usual musical signifiers.
  13. 70
    Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn's Tinsel and Lights is just that, and you could do worse than add it to this year's Santa list.
  14. Tinsel and Lights is at its best during its most Christmassy moments, which in the context of everything else, feels a little ironic, as Thorn sounds like she's trying to avoid the holiday for the most part.
  15. Nov 1, 2012
    The moments of goodness and light here bump up against plenty of songs that are depressing or otherwise unseasonal-feeling. You're happy to get the present, but it's not exactly what you would've asked for from Santa.

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