Tift Merritt – See You On The Moon Tracks: 12
I will hold up my hand and admit I have loved all of North Carolina’s Tift Merritt’s three previous albums and have often wondered why she isn’t up there with the best of them. I was expecting big things from this new CD release so was somewhat disappointed, thus, when on first listen, my immediate reaction wasn’t ‘Wow!’
Produced, recorded and mixed by Tucker Martine (Bill Frisell, The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, and even one of Paste magazine's top ten producers of the decade), all of the songs bar two were written, or co-written by Merritt. Sseveral of the songs have a much more pop sound to them, which, whilst fairly inoffensive, simply risk not being what Tift’s fans have grown to love. That said, some, such as Engine to Turn, have really grown on me with repeated listens; her vocal bringing to mind Martha Wainright at times. The only song I just can’t get to grips with is Mixtape but I’m sure it will grow on me.
Other tracks on the CD, such as Six More Days of Rain, See You on the Moon and After Today are quite stunning, both lyrically and musically, and evidence that this is still the Tift Merritt we have all grown to love, simply pushing musical boundaries as she follows her heart. I guess there is a lot to be said for that, really and kudos to Tift for having the courage to do so. Never Talk About It is introspective and a couple of songs verge on being a social commentary – Tift has never been afraid of saying – or singing – it like it is. She also delivers an interesting version of the Loggins & Messina classic "Danny's Song". What this CD demonstrates is that much of Tift’s music is about the lyrics and in order to connect with this CD I really had to listen, but it was worth it. My only request for the next CD – a little more of the country sound and a little less pop, Tift, as I really think that is where your voice shines. With that said, I am really looking forward to seeing how these songs fare live when she opens for Mary Chapin Carpenter later this year.