Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another Country - Tift Merritt

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Another Country doesn't actually refer to some kind of re-inventing of Country Music (or Americana in it's other guise) but to the fact that how, in a time of personal turmoil, Tift Merritt emigrated to France. The problems aren't quantified in any great detail, but its clear that the Tift Merritt of her third album is more disillusioned and introspective than the Tift Merritt of her earlier albums.

And whilst one wouldn't wish to inflict such emotional pain onto anyone, it is clear that these problems have gone some way to raising her music up to another level.

There are a handful of up-tempo numbers, Tell Me Something True, with it's Mowton-esque backing is one such highlight, but most of the album is a more subdued affair. It's none the less compelling for all that though. It's an album that practically aches with sorrow, but never in a wallowing way. Indeed with a scant listen, most listeners would probably miss most of the lyrical content and just be pleased with what is a very listenable album.

This is an album which benefits from a few repeated spins. Slowly Merritt draws you in, deeper into the emotional content of the album. Her voice is warm, inviting and soulful and is difficult to resist.

After 2003's Tambourine album some might fell that the production is a little too light on this one, but that's a minor concern to say the least. Another Country may not grab a Grammy Nomination for Best Country Album like it's predecessor did, but it's no less a winner of an album.

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