Retrospective: 1995-2005 [Deluxe Edition]

Retrospective: 1995-2005 [Deluxe Edition]

by Natalie Merchant
     
 

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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.

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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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/27/2005
Label:
Rhino/Wea Uk
UPC:
0081227312220
catalogNumber:
273122

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Merchant   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Tony Trischka   Banjo
Billy Bragg   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Dr. John   Piano
Van Dyke Parks   Accordion
Karl Berger   Conductor,Vibes
Bill Harris   Saxophone
Tom Varner   French Horn
David Sancious   Piano
Gary Smith   Bass,Percussion,Electric Bass
Jim Keltner   Drums
Walter Booker   Bass,Electric Bass
Cyro Battista   Percussion
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Peter Buck   Guitar
Matt Chamberlain   Percussion,Drums
Steve Cooper   Guitar
N'Dea Davenport   Vocals
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass,Electric Bass
Fima Ephron   Electric Bass
Bob Glaub   Bass,Electric Bass
John Holbrook   Electric Guitar
Judy Hyman   Fiddle
Wayne Jackson   Trumpet
Booker T. Jones   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Katell Keineg   Vocals
George Laks   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Greg Leisz   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Andrew Love   Saxophone
Graham Maby   Bass,Electric Bass
Paddy Moloney   Penny Whistle
Molly Mason   Acoustic Guitar
Val McCallum   Guitar
Susan McKeown   Vocals
Mike Mills   Bass,Electric Bass
John O'Brien   Piano
Máirtín O'Connor   Accordion
Julia Palmer   Cello
Lenny Pickett   Saxophone
David Ralicke   Horn,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Craig Ross   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Terry Silverlight   Drums
G.E. Smith   Guitar
Mavis Staples   Vocals
Michael Stipe   Vocals
Jay Ungar   Fiddle,Harmonica,Mandolin
Patrick Warren   chamberlain,Pump Organ
Wiggy   Electric Bass
Peter Yanowitz   Drums
Jason Yates   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Garo Yellin   Cello
Michelle Kinney   Cello
David Narcizo   Drums
Joel O'Brien   Piano
Matt Henderson   Electric Bass
Joe Trump   Drums
Bill Harris   Saxophone
Lokua Kanza   Acoustic Guitar
Bill Berry   Drums
Lindsey Horner   Acoustic Bass
Richie Stearns   Banjo
Schiavone McGee   Vocals
Mike Elizondo   Acoustic Bass
Adrian Lopez Guevarra   Percussion
Joakim Lartey   Percussion
Pete Toigo   Acoustic Bass
Krystof Witek   Violin
Jennifer Turner   Guitar,Background Vocals
Metropolitan New Testament Missionary Baptist Church Choir   Vocals
Conway Kuo   Viola
Hector Falcon   Violin
Ralph Farris   Viola
Paddy Maloney   Penny Whistle
Gabriel Gordon   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar
Keefus   Hammond B3
Dave Woodward   Trumpet
Allison Miller   Drums
Elizabeth Steen   Organ,Piano,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Barry MaGuire   Bass,Electric Bass
Erik Dellapenna   Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Rebekka Gonzales   Children's Voices,Spoken Word
Matt Henderson   Bass,Guitar
Donnie Ward   Electric Guitar
Cyro Battiste   Percussion
Schiavone McGee   Vocals
Metropolitan New Testament Missionary Baptist Church Choir, Albany, NY   Vocals
James Gonzales   Spoken Word
Jon Spurney   Acoustic Guitar,Piano

Technical Credits

Chieftains   Arranger
George Gershwin   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Billy Bragg   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Karl Berger   String Arrangements
Leonard Feather   Composer
David Sancious   Producer,Audio Production
Gary Smith   Producer,Audio Production
Sammy Price   Composer
Peter Buck   Composer
T Bone Burnett   Producer,Audio Production
Jeff Claus   Composer
David Austin Cook   Engineer
George Cowan   Engineer
Don DeVito   Producer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Michael Joyce   Art Direction
Steve Haigler   Engineer
David Hewitt   Engineer
John Holbrook   Engineer
Judy Hyman   Composer
Scott Litt   Producer,Audio Production
Paddy Moloney   Audio Production
Brian Masterson   Engineer
Susan McKeown   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Natalie Merchant   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
Dirk Powell   Composer
R.E.M.   Producer,Audio Production
Grant Showbiz   Producer,Audio Production
Michael Stipe   Composer
Oliver Strauss   Engineer
Nora Guthrie   Producer,Audio Production
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Matthew Ellard   Engineer
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Emily Dickinson   Composer
Todd Vos   Engineer
Paddy Maloney   Producer
Scott Eisenberg   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
José Picayo   Cover Photo
Jon Spurney   Audio Production

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