Another Country

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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 Light, 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 doubts pervading the artist's previous installments, an evolution limned by music that's less defined by its old-school drive than by its quiet, folkish introspection. The Parisian sabbatical inspired in Merritt a more generous outlook ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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 Light, 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 doubts pervading the artist's previous installments, an evolution limned by music that's less defined by its old-school drive than by its quiet, folkish introspection. The Parisian sabbatical inspired in Merritt a more generous outlook on the nature of love -- as she states most forcefully in the deliberate, gently rolling rock rhythms 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. The B&N exclusive disc adds three bonus tracks, including Merritt's version of the Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun," 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.
All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
It took Tift Merritt four years, a label change, and a sojourn to Paris, where she knew virtually no one and didn't speak the language, to craft her third release. She recounts the Paris part of the story in the liner notes and the explanation clarifies both the disc's title and reflective, personal songs such as "I Know What I'm Looking for Now" "this world will mix you up and bring you down, but I know what I'm looking for now". Producer George Drakoulias returns from her last album, as does most of her touring band, but the sound is more muted and less insistent than on the Dusty in Memphis styled Tambourine. When horns do finally enter the picture on track eight, it seems like the Stax styled "Tell Me Something True" is a Tambourine leftover. Electric guitars are handled by ringers Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone but both stay on low boil for the majority of the disc, finally letting loose on "My Heart Is Free" near the end. The stripped down sound, reliance on ballads and mid-tempo strummers such as the opening "Something to Me" gives these songs, and especially Merritt's luxurious vocals, room to breathe. They marinate in their comfy country-folk strum, unconcerned about making a strong first impression, but rather letting their melodic and lyrical charms seep in gradually. The singer's voice seems more fragile and sensitive than in the past but that suits the introspective nature of these 11 originals well. The notes make clear that the material was largely composed on piano, which explains the keyboard oriented sound underpinning the lovely title track and many of the slower tunes that dominate the set. There's a sense of exhaling through the spaces on these songs, as if the sessions were a return to a less stressful approach. That fits the material, and especially Merritt's velvety vocals, perfectly. When all the elements combine, such as on the lilting "Morning Is My Destination" where Merritt's voice connects with the more soulful aspects of the song, punctuated by gospel organ and stinging guitar fills, the effect is stunning. The closing cabaret ballad "Mille Tendresses," sung in French, is a natural coda to an album that is not an obvious progression in Tift Merritt's career, but one that comes from the heart and sounds it. Sometimes you have to look backward to move forward, which makes Another Country ring with a personal touch. It resonates with emotion, tenderness, and a sense that she has found comfort in life and her songwriting that may have been missing before.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2008
  • Label: Fantasy
  • UPC: 888072304550
  • Catalog Number: 30455
  • Sales rank: 135,148

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tift Merritt Primary Artist
Charlie Sexton Guitar
George Drakoulias Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Patrick Warren chamberlain
Jay Brown Bass, Harmony
Doug Pettibone Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
Josh Schwartz Rhythm Guitar
Zeke Hutchins Drums
Dan Eisenberg Keyboards
Technical Credits
David Bianco Engineer
George Drakoulias Producer
Doug Sax Mastering
Tommy Steele Art Direction
Tift Merritt Composer, Introduction
Sanwook "Sunny" Nam Mastering
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