Retrospective: 1995-2005

Retrospective: 1995-2005

5.0 1
by Natalie Merchant
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In compiling the best tracks from her four solo studio albums for Retrospective 1995-2005, Natalie Merchant calls attention to both the remarkable consistency and the subtle variety of her post–10,000 Maniacs career. Merchant sings songs of political discontent and social consciousness: She can sound disillusioned orSee more details below

Overview

In compiling the best tracks from her four solo studio albums for Retrospective 1995-2005, Natalie Merchant calls attention to both the remarkable consistency and the subtle variety of her post–10,000 Maniacs career. Merchant sings songs of political discontent and social consciousness: She can sound disillusioned or disappointed, frustrated or hopeful, wistful or wondrous, but she's always passionate and sincere, and her alluring alto sometimes disguises hard truths. Retrospective moves chronologically through Merchant's projects. "Wonder" and "Jealousy" from 1996's classic Tigerlily show Merchant at her most upbeat, and the single versions included here kick up the energy several notches compared to the original album tracks. As she notes in the anecdotes she penned for this compilation, on 1998's Ophelia, she consciously challenged herself to vary her approaches for each song: "Break Your Heart" with vocalist N'Dea Davenport and trumpeter Chris Botti owes a bit to Sting in its mix of smooth jazz and quiet funk, while "Kind & Generous" is joyfully slinky. "Build a Levee" from 2001's Motherland is soulful and dark, aided by Mavis Staples' harmonies. The stripped-down folk of "Owensboro" and "Sally Ann" from 2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter cap the album perfectly: They form a soft, earnest coda to the first decade of Merchant's solo career.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Natalie Merchant was with 10,000 Maniacs for four full-length albums before she departed for a solo career. Four albums and ten years into her solo career, she released Retrospective 1995-2005, a 13-track collection of highlights, containing no rarities or B-sides (those were reserved for the simultaneously released deluxe edition of the album, which had a 15-track bonus disc containing all notable non-LP tracks, including three unreleased cuts, plus duets with the Chieftains, R.E.M., Billy Bragg, and Susan McKeown). Her solo career began on a high note with Tigerlily, a continuation of the sound of latter-day 10,000 Maniacs records, heavy on the polish and laid-back atmosphere and light on jangling guitars. It entered the charts at 13, spawned the Top Ten single, "Carnival," and its Top 20 follow-up, "Wonder," and garnered generally positive reviews. But her momentum began to slow on her 1998 sophomore effort, Ophelia, which may have climbed higher on the Billboard album charts, but it failed to produce any big hit; "Kind & Generous" peaked at 18, but it never gained the same popularity as either "Carnival" or "Wonder." From there, Merchant settled into a comfortable cult, turning out variations on the Tigerlily template on 2001's Motherland and getting a little folkier on 2003's collection of traditional tunes, The House Carpenter's Daughter. Retrospective balances these four albums nicely, selecting four cuts each from Tigerlily and Ophelia while taking three from Motherland and two from House Carpenter. It not only takes the obvious highlights from these albums, but it draws an accurate, representative picture of her solo career. Which is not to say that it will please 10,000 Maniacs fans looking for music in a similar vein -- after her solo debut, Merchant's music got a little too small and insular, a little more concerned with mood and lyrics than with pop hooks to appeal to a broader audience. Those fans will likely want to stick with Tigerlily, which is a more satisfying listen overall than Retrospective, but for those who want an overview of Natalie Merchant's solo career, this does a fine job of providing that.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
09/27/2005
Label:
Elektra / Wea
UPC:
0081227312121
catalogNumber:
73121
Rank:
3093

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Merchant   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Van Dyke Parks   Accordion
Karl Berger   Conductor
Tom Varner   French Horn
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Matt Chamberlain   Percussion,Drums
N'Dea Davenport   Vocals
Bob Glaub   Bass
John Holbrook   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Katell Keineg   Vocals
George Laks   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Greg Leisz   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Graham Maby   Bass
David Ralicke   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Craig Ross   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Mavis Staples   Vocals
Patrick Warren   chamberlain,Pump Organ
Peter Yanowitz   Drums
Jason Yates   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Garo Yellin   Cello
Michelle Kinney   Cello
Lokua Kanza   Acoustic Guitar
Richie Stearns   Banjo
Mike Elizondo   Acoustic Bass
Adrian Lopez Guevarra   Percussion
Joakim Lartey   Percussion
Krystof Witek   Violin
Jennifer Turner   Guitar,Background Vocals
Conway Kuo   Viola
Ralph Farris   Viola
Gabriel Gordon   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Allison Miller   Drums
Elizabeth Steen   Organ,Piano,Hammond Organ
Barry MaGuire   Bass,Bass Guitar
Erik Dellapenna   Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Matt Henderson   Bass,Guitar

Technical Credits

Karl Berger   String Arrangements
T Bone Burnett   Producer
Jeff Claus   Composer
George Cowan   Engineer
Michael Joyce   Art Direction
John Holbrook   Engineer
Judy Hyman   Composer
Natalie Merchant   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Art Direction
Dirk Powell   Composer
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Todd Vos   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
José Picayo   Cover Photo

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >