april 2008

Tift Merrit

Weary from the road after two acclaimed albums, Tift Merritt retreated to Paris, to a rented apartment with a view and a piano. There, in the City of Lights, she was renewed. Hence Another Country, a departure so pronounced from her justly heralded Tambourine and Bramble Rose albums that it might even be termed "radical." Emanating from new ground musically and philosophically, Another Country comes to grips with the romantic and spiritual aporia pervading the artist's previous installments, an evolution limned by music less defined by its old-school fury and drive than by its quiet, folkish introspection. The Parisian sabbatical inspired in Merritt a more generous outlook on the nature of love, and a surer understanding of who she is in the context of someone else's life-as she states most forcefully in the deliberate, gently rolling rock rhythms and straight-ahead stance of "I Know What I'm Looking For Now," when she asserts, "What little I know is quick as a wink but I've known a real long time." In her close-to-the-bone revelations, Merritt has crafted something here as deeply introspective as the early Judy Collins masterpiece, In My Life—a notion she underscores with her airy, spacious vocals, so unabashedly frank in their vulnerability, especially in the melancholy, cabaret-style closer, "Mille Tendresses" ("A Thousand Tendernesses"), in which her longing is as open and aching as Piaf's. She hasn't left the high-octane drive behind, though: both "Tell Me Something True" and "My Heart Is Free" lash out with stomping southern soul and shimmering rock 'n' roll thrust. This B&N exclusive disc adds three bonus tracks that complete a portrait of a young artist now fully formed, and fully cognizant of the dangers that lie ahead in the stirrings of those thousand tendernesses.—David McGee

Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (www.johnmendelsohn.com)
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