Just like future partner Ben Watt's album, Tracey Thorn's own solo foray is a masterpiece in stunning simplicity. Unlike Watt, Thorn served an early apprenticeship with her friends as The Marine Girls; a band whose charms were equal parts great potential and amateurish hopelessness. 'A Distant Shore' proves that she had learned well from mistakes, built around just her fluent guitar playing and that beautiful vocal which aches with a vulnerability and sadness of someone twice her age (Thorn was not even in her twenties when this was recorded). On tracks like 'Seascape' her every intonation resonates with a haunting echo and the oft-covered 'Femme Fatale' is delivered with a respect and skill that rivals the original's supposedly unreachable greatness. All other tracks drip with melancholy and melody. The real tragedy that there's only twenty three minutes of it but not a second is wasted.