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Another Country

Another Country

February 26, 2008

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Label: Fantasy Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2008 Concord Music Group, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 41:35
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0013XLDO0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,059 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

This is an outstanding album, best I have heard this year.
AudioMaven
If Tift Merritt never records another album, I will still be happy.
Michael E. Horn
The melodies are great and the lyrics are poetic and accessible.
Knopfler720

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Batty on February 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Apparently, I am a rareity here having loved Tift since her 1999 duets album with The Two Dollar Pistols. For those of you new to her, a (very) brief and mostly musical history. That album is a very classic country cover album with Tift's sweet soprano soaring gracefully next to John Howie's rough barritone. In 2002 she released her solo debut Bramble Rose, which went to a very 70's Gram Parson's and Emmylou Harris side of country and was produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams). Two years later she teamed with George Drakoulias to record Tambourine which went off in a much more bluesy/R&B direction. In 2005 she released the live cd Home Is Loud and 2007 saw the issuing of her Austin City Limits appearence on DVD. She was dropped by her label Lost Highway and moved to Paris, not sure if she was going to stay in the business. Then she wrote all the songs for this album, came home and released them on Fantasy.
With all that out of the way, how does this album stack up? Sonically speaking, she returns to the same overall sound as Bramble Rose, but pushes past what she did on that album. The lyrics are much more personal than they have been on her earlier albums, but she retains her sense of incident based storytelling. In a way she is almost the anthesis of Neko Case. Where the red headed torch singer wraps her life in dark images that pull the everyday into the realm of fantasy, Tift grounds her images in incidents so everyday that often the lyric passes before you realize the full weaight of truth behind it. Her voice here is sweeter than it has been on previous albums, fuller and more mature, with a control of her higher registers that sometimes came off as a bit squeaky before.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Ryan on March 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
If ever there were a convention of performing artists, Tift Merritt would probably spend the evening helping to serve the food, then staying afterward to help with the clean-up. There is something unfailingly polite about her style, so much so that she is an anomaly in an industry full of misogynists, hedonists, crybabies and creeps. "Another Country" captures that niceness with a series of songs that are unfailingly gracious in their gentle use of melodicism. It is extraordinarily comforting to hear an album as well-adjusted as "Another Country," but that can also be part of the problem. In real life, it is the troublemakers who attract all of the attention, and it is no different in the music industry. Disaffected misfits with bad attitudes and re-hab issues get the press and top the charts, and it is difficult to hear Tift Merritt above the din of whining screamers in need of medication, therapy, or both.
"Another Country" is the result of an artist burned out from too much touring. In the liner notes, Tift (I think she would find it distasteful if I used her formal name) writes that she "had lost track of the miles (she) had traveled." To break her stride, she spent some time in Paris, familiarizing herself with a new culture and a new group of friends. The experience liberated her, and inspired her to new heights of creativity. This is an album full of personal observations from lessons learned, with intimate arrangements that focus on the strengths of her touring band, augmented by guitarists Doug Pettibone and Charlie Sexton. As a collection, the songs fit like a well-worn sweater. It is the aural equivalent of a woman finding a sense of comfort in the life she has chosen for herself.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Knopfler720 on February 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Listening to Boston's folk radio station (WUMB) is the place where I can hear the gamut of new and old musicians. I must say I was pleasantly surprised after hearing 'Something to Me.' So surprised that I bought this new cd yesterday, the day of it's release. I definitely recommend this cd/artist to anyone who enjoys Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith or Patty Griffin. The melodies are great and the lyrics are poetic and accessible. I'm very happy to have found a new artist to follow. Now all I need to do is listen to her whole catalog.

Thanks Tift! Hope to see you live when you come to the Northeast.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Another Country" sounded familiar, but I just couldn't place where I'd heard it before. A clear-voiced singer, sensitive lyrics, music that alternately chugged and soared. Joni Mitchell? Emmylou Harris? Damned if I could place her.

A few listenings in, Tift Merritt's lineage no longer mattered. Only the music did. I didn't immediately get the words --- they're about love and loss and distance, and because they're charming and poetic, they go down easy --- but the tunes were fatally catchy. I found myself humming along and calling out the refrains. Not like me.

My reaction to Tift Merritt was also unsettling. She's got a Grammy nomination and praise from the likes of Emmylou Harris on her bio, but she seems more like a kid just starting out than a seasoned artist. In her 30s? With her own show on NPR? For that matter, a year in Paris? No way.

I had a bunch of questions. Ms. Merritt had the answers. And then some.

JK: What were you doing five minutes before you decided to go to Paris and write the songs that became this CD?

TM: I'd been on tour for a year, traveling in a van --- five guys and me --- and sometimes playing empty clubs, where you have to pretend everything's okay and cry in private. And you get ready in a rock `n roll dressing room, with graffiti on the walls and scary corners you can't look in. And you see the irony. How could you not, when you put your makeup on looking into a mirror that says MILLER LITE.

JK: Who do you blame?

TM: It always ends with me.

JK: And the moment of decision?

TM: I was going to England to tour. I thought, `I'm a grown woman. I can go to Paris and get an apartment and a piano.'

JK: Parlez-vous français?

TM: I studied French in school.
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