Preceding the release of Barbara Morgenstern's 2006 full-length The Grass Is Always Greener, The Operator is a brief sample of what could be expected of that forthcoming album. The title track is featured in two versions that are different than its full-length counterpart: there's an edit that's about a minute shorter than the album version, and there's also a solo piano version of the song that strips away the electronics for a showcase of Morgenstern's piano, voice, and songwriting. This latter version is a key glimpse into the makings of The Grass Is Always Greener, because the album is also driven largely by those three attributes -- piano, voice, and songwriting -- with the electronics functioning almost as background shading, whereas on her earlier work, that equation had been inverted, with electronics in the forefront. Each version -- the edit, piano, and album one -- is slightly unique; moreover, they aren't just one version mixed differently. Lastly, The Operator includes a non-album track, "Mein Elekrisches Tier," that is relatively minor, clocking in at less than two minutes.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier