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Bramble Rose

57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 4, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist made her album debut in 2002 and received high acclaim from critics. Includes Trouble Over Me, Virginia, No One Can Warn You, Neighborhood, Bird of Freedom, I Know Him Too and more. 11 tracks total.

Imagine the Rolling Stones recording a country album in Muscle Shoals with Dusty Springfield singing lead. Now imagine a young artist from North Carolina whose ambition not only measures itself against such classic comparisons, but shows the promise to transcend them. Tift Merritt's major-label debut finds such promise fulfilled on "Sunday," the six-minute centerpiece in which the sweet sensuality of her upper register floats over an organ bedrock and vocal chorus that are pure Southern church. Even when other cuts sound like they could have been preserved in a '70s time capsule--the generic country-rock of "Diamond Shoes" and the very Stonesy "Neighborhood"--her vocals have a seductive intimacy that freshens the familiar. The lead guitar of producer Ethan Johns and the keyboards of Benmont Tench (on loan from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) augment Merritt's band on arrangements that give the material plenty of room to breathe. As a writer, Merritt has some room to grow, but as a singer, she already sounds like one of the greats. --Don McLeese

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B000066HQB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,223 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on January 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are so many young singer-songwriters out there these days working the alt.-country circuit that its easy for them to get overlooked. Unless they have talent that shines as brightly as Tift Merritt. "Bramble Rose" is not only one of the best country rock albums released in the past couple of years, but it places Merritt in such heady company as Stevie Nicks (in her prime) as a rock and roll woman to be reckoned with.
The first thing you notice is the outstanding sound of the album, courtesy of producer and guitar player Ethan Johns (who did such a fabulous job with the similar-sounding Linda Ronstadt-Emmylou Harris collaboration from a few years ago). The next thing that strikes you is what an amazingly beautiful but husky voice Merritt possesses. Combine that with the fact that she wrote all of these songs herself and you have a MAJOR emerging talent on your hands. The highlights here include "Trouble Over Me," "Virginia..." and the lengthy "I Cross Over" that closes things, but there is nary a bad track in the mix.
Overall, an outstanding debut album from an artist that we'll be hearing about for a long time to come.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Tift Merritt's "Bramble Rose" is an excellent CD. I had read the hype and grabbed a copy from the cart before the store had even gotten it shelved. To be honest, this CD didn't grab me the way Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and Iris DeMent did when I first heard their work. The hype made me expect that. Throw out the expectations and give the music a chance to work on you. It gets sweeter and sweeter.
Merritt's pretty voice is expressive on what I feel is the strongest track, the opener. "Trouble Over Me" starts slow and breaks out on the chorus, "Don't treat me bad," Tift wails and then gets soft, "Paper truth in strings, hearts and broken things, love goes for quite a price." The midtempo "Virginia, No One Can Warn You" has a pretty melody, "With your heart so big, it don't know what to do." "Neighborhood" is another great midtempo track, a playful tune. With her voice reminding me of Louise Goffin, Tift sings, "Baby, you can't run round; Honey, it don't look good." "Bird of Freedom" is a slow stately tune that you can picture Emmylou Harris covering. The music builds on the chorus and the lyrical images are intriguing like "shadowboxing a thunderstorm." Pedal steel wails and one feels a heart in conflict with a sense of longing on the title track, "The rain's got me thirsty, falling wasteful & slow; I'm restless enough; I'm so scared to go." "I Know Him Too" is a song of rapture & infatuation, "Tonight, no one can tell you." "Sunday" is a track I love & hate. Tift's most passionate singing is here with great resonance in her voice; the little tremble on the notes she holds onto is brilliant.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kori Frazier on June 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Imagine that Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Lucinda Williams get together to jam. About halfway through the session, Caitlin Cary and Sheryl Crow arrive and join in. They are later joined by two visitors from rock and roll heaven, Patsy Cline and Dusty Springfield. The result? Tift Merritt's astonishing debut album, BRAMBLE ROSE.
If you are a fan of any of the above artists, you are absolutely required to click the BUY NOW icon on this page. While a good many excellent albums have been released thus far in 2002, this may be the best debut the music world has had the pleasure of hearing. The album contains a delightful combination of folk, rock, and traditional country influences that any music fan will find pleasing, and eleven gorgeous songs enhanced by Tift's lilting and gorgeously airy voice. The range of her extraordinary talent is heard in the opening cut, "Trouble Over Me," the influences of Emmylou and Caitlin can be heard in the hauntingly lovely "Virginia, No One Can Warn You," and the bluesy ballad "Bird of Freedom" gives this amazing artist a chance to showcase her amazing voice. On the heavily country influenced "Are You Still in Love With Me" and "Diamond Shoes," you can almost hear the voice of Patsy Cline, while the uptempo number "Neighborhood" shows a more rockin' side of Tift's music. The true standout of the album, though, is the final track "When I Cross Over," a beautiful song full of sheer emotion and talent.
Tift Merritt's BRAMBLE ROSE is an amazing debut album showcasing the phenomenal talent of one of music's finest rising stars. In this day and age when traditional country and folk music seems to be receiving a surge in popularity, I am hopeful that this tremendous talent will receive the attention she so well deserves. Buy this CD and prepare to be moved.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "stormy3" on April 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Tift Merritt's Bramble Rose is the most complex female country music album since Trish Yearwood's Real Live Woman. This is not a teenaged girl falling in and out of crushes like so many so-called strong women of the day. This is a woman who happens across men, considers the possibility of a relationship with them, then feels her way through the rest of life. "You're not my boyfriend/I don't want a boyfriend" she asserts in the first line of "Trouble Over Me," "I don't want you for life/but don't we get along fine." The rest of her album explores life and love in much this same way.
This is a real woman, a complex woman, one with a life and friends as well as a man. She lays it out to a male friend/possible love interest in "Neighborhood," "Honey you don't look good/baby you can run 'round with just anybody in the neighborhood." However, she advises her friend to go after love in Diamond shoes "No one can win a heart like yours/but damned if he ain't tryin'." Perhaps the strongest cut on the album is "Sunday" a tribute to the day of lounging in bed and visiting your mother. "Supposed to Make You Happy" is a heart wrenching look at relationship failure. In the middle of songs like "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" Merritt offers "Bird of Freedom," which explores rather than asserts patriotism. However, it is perhaps in the title track when she gives all of us, to borrow a Susan Werner phrase, last of the good straight girls, a new song about, "a real good woman, nobody knows."
Tift Merritt has earned a number of comparisons to Emmilou Harris. Part of it is she has a similar whispy, etheral country/folk voice.
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