Charlotte Church

Back to Scratch

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Charlotte Church’s first album in five years is also her first album since her separation from rugby star Gavin Henson, so it’s not entirely a surprise that Back to Scratch showcases a more mature singer in several different respects. Thematically, the album surely and repeatedly touches upon loves gone wrong -- there are wistful looks back to when “We Were Young,” she looks upon things “Unravelling,” and recounts “The Story of Us” -- and the tenor of the music is suitably reserved yet dramatic, structured to give the illusion that Church can still hit glory notes like she used to. Illusion is the key to Back to Scratch: it is just somber enough to suggest that it cuts deeper than it does. All its melancholy shimmers on the surface, and it’s easy enough to tune out the sorrow and let Back to Scratch simmer as pleasant background music.

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