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CD REVIEW: The Portraits - Timescape
By Don Sechelski - 03/22/2009 - 08:16 PM EDT

Artist: The Portraits
Album: Timescape
Label: Sensory Pulse Records
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Bitter, Windfall
CD Review:

Timescape is an interesting new release from The Portraits. The driving force behind The Portraits is the husband wife duo, Jeremy and Lorraine Millington. On Timescape they wrote, arranged, and performed all the songs with the able assistance of Pete Judge on trumpet, Simon “Fuzzy” Ratcliffe on flutes and woodwinds, and Lara Block on cello. Fuzzy Ratcliffe co-produced with Jeremy Millington.

The Portraits’ sound is soft and breezy with Jeremy Millington displaying a deft touch on keyboards while sharing vocals with Lorraine Millington, an equally talented guitarist. Her vocal on Fame, with haunting harmonies, soars above the beautiful piano/guitar arrangement. Her concise fingerpicking and mesmerizing vocal on Bitter is contrasted with a lyric that points an honest, accusing finger:

When all these things of natural beauty turn against us

When the oceans all resent us

And rise to attack

When the sunshine at the hearth of youth’s aroma

Returns as melanoma

I can’t help feeling

What goes around comes around.

In The Real World, Jeremy Millington sings about reconciling youthful idealism with the cold reality of day to day responsibility.

But you have progressed into the real world

Domain of kids and wives

How do those lesser folk

Take your crusades?

Throughout Timescape, the lyrical intelligence stands out with powerful lines, poignant observations, and clearly described images. The vocal harmonies are warm and the playing is flawless. The addition of flute, trumpet, and trumpet on some songs creates a lavish sonic texture. The Millingtons are a formidable songwriting duo.  Timescape is a well crafted, entertaining CD.

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