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Traveling Alone CD
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Tift's debut album, Bramble Rose, contains her earliest work, among them several masterpieces including "Trouble over Me" and "Are You Still in Love with Me." Later came "Still Pretending," "Mille Tendresses," "Keep You Happy," all beautiful love songs with more than a little poignancy (I guess Mille Tendresses fits that category - it's in French).
My favorite song on her previous album is "Papercut," and there's something there that foreshadows the melancholy undercurrent of "Traveling Alone."
Tift Merritt has matured nicely as an artist and as a woman. She's remained strong in the face of adversity, and she's remained true to herself. She's never sold out, but she's never given up.
Each of her albums maintains an old-school sense of the record as a whole, not just a collection of songs. "Traveling Alone" fully accomplishes that aspiration.
You'll really need to read the book of lyrics accompanying the record to get the full benefit of Tift's poetry. But of course you'll have to listen to the record to get the full benefit of Tift's music. And her voice is the cherry on Jack Horner's thumb.
The song that grabs me by the heartstrings is "Too Soon to Go." The melody is truly beautiful, and the words will make you cry.
The song that best captures the essence of the album is "Spring." Is it optimistic or fatalistic? Is Tift Merritt reflecting on the struggles and disappointments of life, or reveling in the rewards of the struggle? "It is a mystery like a lover's touch, brings a blossom from a winter's bud ...Read more ›
I've been reveling in Traveling Alone since obtaining a copy at Tift's CD release celebration on 9/21 in Carrboro, NC. Suffice it to say, Tift serves up a sensuously satisfying eleven course musical meal; eleven elegantly simple and straightforward songs deliciously seasoned to cook at a low simmer. This album is so understated and subtle that I predict you'll find it imperceptibly sneaking up on you until, by the conclusion of this meal, you realize your feeling satiated and not wanting the afterglow to end - which by the standards of any musical cookbook, is the mark of a great album and impeccable taste.
But "Another Country" made me hopeful about a singer I knew nothing about. Tift Merritt's songs were smart and soft and deep, and she had a honey voice that a country singer would kill for, and, on the CD cover, she was beautiful in a girl-next-door way.
Fool that I am, I thought I could help her break out of the pack.
So we met.
Our conversation was thoroughly confusing. Tift Merritt is an astonishingly nice person, not a mean bone in her body and all that. She is also tough bordering on ferocious. Not about getting somewhere, although she was clearly not immune to the charms of stardom --- her determination was about her work.
Fool that she is, she thought there was real value in making music that mattered, music that aspired to art.
"Traveling Alone" might just qualify. It could not be more timeless, less trendy. It has just the right proportion of kick-ass songs to whispered meditations. She's supported by first-class musicians and a highly regarded producer. It's so well written that a line like "beauty is defiance in the face of death" is a throwaway. Maybe, just maybe, the planets are aligned in her favor this time.
I couldn't resist a rematch.
JK: A CD has become a collection of 99 cent singles to download. But this feels like a real album, not a shot at single hits.
JK: Isn't that suicidal?Read more ›
This album reminds me of Emmylou Harris during her "Wrecking Ball" period of the past decade or so. There are similarities in the vocals, plus many of the songs share that same atmospheric Americana sound; not really country and not really rock, but a synthesis of the two genres. No matter what you call it, this is absorbing and enthralling music. If you enjoy artists such as Emmylou or Patty Griffin, then Tift Merritt is right up your musical alley.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have followed Tift's career a n d she is a favorite.
This work is good a n d soft a n d thoughtful.l
Loaming w memories a n d tactile delights.
beautiful singing, engrossing lyrics and of course steel guitar how could you go wrongPublished 21 months ago by rhonda hickman