11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A five-star review from the Telegraph in the UK says clearly that Natalie Merchant has found the sweet spot on her sixth solo album, the self-titled 2014 release that is her first album of all new original material in 13 years. As expected from an artist of Merchant’s socio-political nature, she brings a gravity to everything she sings about and if “Giving Up Everything” is meant to free her from her “cursed search for meaning,” it’s just another brick in her personal wall. She can’t help but connect the dots of her existence in everything she sings, or else there wouldn’t be a somber string section following her moves and “Maggie Said” wouldn’t begin with the line “Maggie said dig one more shallow grave before I’m dead.” This self-produced effort features everything her fans have come to love of her. There’s a light funkiness to “Ladybird,” “Go Down Moses” (about the neglect of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) and “It’s A Coming,” but she knows she’s not the young woman she used to be and is determined to make music that reflects her experience. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

A five-star review from the Telegraph in the UK says clearly that Natalie Merchant has found the sweet spot on her sixth solo album, the self-titled 2014 release that is her first album of all new original material in 13 years. As expected from an artist of Merchant’s socio-political nature, she brings a gravity to everything she sings about and if “Giving Up Everything” is meant to free her from her “cursed search for meaning,” it’s just another brick in her personal wall. She can’t help but connect the dots of her existence in everything she sings, or else there wouldn’t be a somber string section following her moves and “Maggie Said” wouldn’t begin with the line “Maggie said dig one more shallow grave before I’m dead.” This self-produced effort features everything her fans have come to love of her. There’s a light funkiness to “Ladybird,” “Go Down Moses” (about the neglect of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) and “It’s A Coming,” but she knows she’s not the young woman she used to be and is determined to make music that reflects her experience. 

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