Home / CD Review: Beth Thornley – My Glass Eye

CD Review: Beth Thornley – My Glass Eye

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If you saw Beth Thornley walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t know her from Eve. Thornley is a woman you know by voice, especially if you’re a fan of the TV shows Scrubs, Dawson’s Creek, and Roswell, which have featured many of her songs. My Glass Eye is a sophomore solo effort for the singer/songwriter, her first being a self-titled DIY release which garnered a very positive response from the music press.

Listening to My Glass Eye is an exotic adventure. Thornley is a masterful writer, packing some piss and vinegar into her lyrics, yet on many tracks her interpretations are as forceful as a head-on collision with a dandelion. It’s a blessed dichotomy. Thornley uses some wonderfully stealthy metaphors and her vocal style gives each song a brilliant dimension. Musically, the album is richly diverse, sometimes emulating the country-tinged pop of Sheryl Crow, and other times the more experimentally inclined Fiona Apple.

Producer Rob Cairns captures Thornley’s wry views on love and relationships admirably as he puts an emphasis on Thornley’s haunting lyricism, keeping the instrumentation subdued and the vocal harmonizing to a minimum. But on the songs “Stand,” “Mr. Lovely,” and “Bound,” Cairn loosens his reins on the band of hired guns, creating a very tight, fully sonic rock sound. My Glass Eye also features a cover of the Beatles tune “Eleanor Rigby,” which is actually more laconic than the original. However, the standout track for me is the hidden untitled blues track at the end of the album. It is a short but beautifully rendered tribute to pioneers like Pink Anderson and Robert Johnson.

But it’s the songwriting that soars on My Glass Eye. Thornley’s creations are wickedly infectious in their slyness. My Glass Eye may be the best songwriter’s album currently available on the market. And while you may not recognize Thornley as she walks down the street quite yet, don’t worry. It won’t be long before you will.

Author's note: I’m not sure who’s to blame for this, but someone at Amazon is selling copies of this album for less than 30 cents, and the album isn’t even released yet. This disturbs me, because new artists like Thornley depend heavily on music royalties to survive. So I’m going to encourage anyone interested in buying My Glass Eye to wait for the official release on July 25th and not purchase the copies currently advertised on Amazon.

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