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Natalie Merchant, Ralph FarrisAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)

Price: $7.91 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2006 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1998 $11.36  
Audio CD, 2013 $7.91  
Audio Cassette, 1998 --  

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Ophelia + Tigerlily + Motherland
Price for all three: $26.18

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  • Tigerlily $6.44
  • Motherland $11.83

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: May 19, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra 0591
  • ASIN: B000006OAM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,721 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ophelia
2. Life Is Sweet
3. Kind & Generous
4. Frozen Charlotte
5. My Skin
6. Break Your Heart
7. King Of May
8. Thick As Thieves
9. Effigy
10. The Living
11. When They Ring The Golden Bells

Editorial Reviews

Miss Natalie needs to lighten up. Ophelia's a pretty heavy record, in terms of both the thick, string-heavy production and in terms of her protracted, pretentious songs. Merchant has a beautiful voice but she bogs it down with weighty themes that walk around in flashy clothes without going anywhere. She's even got, gulp, Tibetan lyric translations on "Effigy." It's telling that the best track here is the simplest--a lovely reading of an 1887 parlour hymn, "When They Ring The Golden Bells." Its genteel acoustic backdrop perfectly sets off Merchant's voice--and its the only time she sings with a passion that doesn't feel pretended. Guests include Daniel Lanois and The Innocence Mission. --Michael Ruby

Product Description

Ophelia by Natalie Merchant

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
A beautiful, beautiful album.
At first listen this seems like another "Tigerlily", which was pleasant but forgettable, because the songs are also slow and serious. But don't be fooled. Natalie Merchant continues to grow as a songwriter and performer, and this album is her best work in every way.
On the records she made with 10,000 Maniacs, there were always a few songs which were stunning in their emotional intensity and beauty ("Cotton Alley", "Gun Shy", "Verdi Cries", "Dust Bowl Days", "The Big Parade", "Jezebel", "How You've Grown", "Noah's Dove"). On "Ophelia", almost all the songs are this revelatory, and their collective range of feeling is most impressive, despite some reviewers' complaints about the absence of any uptempo hard-rocking songs.
The arrangements are colorful and complexly layered, and some of the songs are quite experimental and require a few listens to "get" (especially the title track), but they all work. The fifth star in the rating is essential, because "Ophelia" is not only a wonderful CD, it is so unlike any other one that those who don't have it will have a serious gap in their musical experience.
All the tracks are strong and interesting, but I would like to single out "My Skin" and "The Living". Merchant's uniquely lovely voice is almost unbelievably moving here; her very subtle inflections, powerful and intricate lyrics, emotionally precise delivery, and simple but remarkably beautiful piano playing put these tracks at an artistic level frequented only by Bob Dylan at his best.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite CDs!! October 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my all time favorite CDs. I got it at age 12 and now, at 17, it still takes a spin in my CD player quite often. I love all the songs, and they all hold such meaning for me. I love all of Natalie Merchant's work, but this is her best. She is an amazing musician, singer, and songwriter. Tori Amos (though I love her dearly!) shouldn't get all the credit for piano-playing! Natalie is INCREDIBLE too! I'll tell you a little bit about each song:
OPHELIA: This title track is brilliant and cryptic and very interesting. In the CD jacket Natalie portrays several of the characters mentioned in this song (such as a Carmelite nun, a circus performer, etc.).There are some people talking in foreign languages at the end, and I've never figured that out. If someone does, please tell me! This is a great song regardless, though.
LIFE IS SWEET: Natalie herself said that this is one of her favorite songs she's ever written. It's brilliant, uplifting, and inspirational. So much of the music out there these days is degrading and depressing. Way to go Natalie for upholding the true spirit of REAL music!
KIND AND GENEROUS: The biggest hit from this album, this is a sweet and simple tune. I've heard that it's dedicated to her fans; that she's thanking them for her success. If that's the case... You're welcome!!
FROZEN CHARLOTTE: Guaranteed to make me cry. Judging from the other customer reviews, this is a fan favorite. Some people went so far as to say that it was the best song of 1998! What UI love most about Natalie is that she can write strange, poetic, and cryptic lyrics that are nearly impossible to understand, and the meaning of the song truly comes out in the way she sings the words. "Frozen Charlotte" is a prime example of that.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect Tigerlily January 9, 2000
By Jackie
Format:Audio CD
Natalie Merchant's album "Ophelia" contains one hit song--"Kind and Generous." Of all of this cd's songs, that one is probably the only one that COULD be a single, because of its poppy tune and cutesy lyrics. So when you buy this cd, don't expect a bunch of songs like "Kind and Generous." Natalie really strays from her traditional Tigerlily tunes, experimenting with her sound, challenging herself. After the first listen, I wasn't that impressed with this CD, in fact I was downright disappointed. I wanted to hear the Natalie I'd known from 10000 Maniacs, from Tigerlily. But after listening again and again, it was clear that Natalie was trying new things here, and I praise her for it. Songs like "Break Your Heart" and "My Skin" steal you with their emotional intimacy, their sad melodies, and Natalie's intense voice. This one is for the real Natalie Merchant fan since you aren't going to find a lot of radio songs on this album.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't pay attention to the critics... March 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
For anyone who is considering picking up Natalie Merchant's "Ophelia" but isn't sure, having heard one critic too many label her pretentious or gloomy, I just want to throw in my two bits and tell you to ignore them! This CD is wonderful, I picked it up last summer on a whim and still really enjoy it. I didn't have "Tigerlily," her first solo release, and ended up buying them in reverse order so that I could have more of Natalie's music! I don't think it's fair to say one is better than the other, they are both good CDs, different and yet quite similar... I think on "Ophelia" she is branching out a bit more and trying some new things, and good for her! "Frozen Charlotte" stands out as my favorite song, among other great tracks like "Break Your Heart," "The Living," and "When They Ring the Golden Bells." "Life Is Sweet" is also wonderful and really lifts my mood each time I hear it. I am so tired of my friends saying, "Natalie Merchant, well, she's okay but I just don't like her personality. She is SOOO serious, she needs to lighten up." Actually, anyone who has seen an interview with Ms. Merchant should be able to see how BENEVOLENT, QUIRKY, and BEAUTIFUL she is!! She makes music because she enjoys it, and she IS an artist. I am going to see her in concert next month, and I am so excited! I can't wait to see her dance around on stage like the previous reviewer mentioned, hehe.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars my skin
kind and generous is a good song too, and need a lullaby, and a kiss goodnight is one of the best song words i ever heard
Published 1 month ago by yellow113
3.0 out of 5 stars Little faces
What was left of the sound of 10,000 Maniacs in this solo album by Natalie Merchant? Almost anything, this album contains songs like The living soft country song perhaps too... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lino Terlati
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Ophelia
I listened this album several more times and realized I had made a terrible mistake in reviewing it the first time The range of Merchant's voice is amazing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stephen A. Marcus
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit for the 10,000 Maniac style.
Not sure, but this maybe my favorite of all. So for she has done enough to let me know her style and I like it very much.
Published 7 months ago by Kristin R. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Natalie Merchant
Love Natalie Merchant - wanted the CD instead of electronic version. I am glad that a new product was available for so reasonable a price
Published 9 months ago by Salesman
4.0 out of 5 stars I know it's a great album, but
of the Merchant albums I have, it's the one that moves me least. It's a young Natalie Merchant, for sure. Not fully realized as a solo artist, but still very good.
Published 11 months ago by Ivas A Gorzynski
5.0 out of 5 stars seven secret maidens
The title song, "Ophelia," represents something of a revolutionary act. As starkly portrayed in her video, what Merchant seems to be expressing is the inner experience of a woman... Read more
Published 11 months ago by L.A. Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars nice album
Pure Natalie. Great voice and talent. Doesn't' disappoint. I happen to be a huge fan and enjoy all her music. It is different from Tigerlily but still very enjoyable.
Published 12 months ago by jcapone
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Great CD. I love how different the vibe is from her first solo CD, Tigerlily. I love the much more orchestral sound in the background, and her awesome lyrics. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Emily
4.0 out of 5 stars Album is amazing, but Amazon is shipping bootleg cd's.
I recently purchased this CD to replace my original, which I had played countless times. I adore this album! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
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