Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tift Merritt: "See You On the Moon" (album review)

When North Carolina-native Tift Merritt is at her best, she is very very good.  Conversely, when she's off her game she can be rather ordinary.  So where does Merritt's brand new album See You On the Moon fall along the spectrum?

Tracks like the dark yet catchy "Mixtape" and the hook-laden "Engine To Turn" are pure gold.  On those songs Merritt is equal parts Neko Case and Martha Wainwright.  A country-influenced artist with a strong pop sensibility.

It's not just the poppy songs that deserve lauding.  The uplifting "Live Till You Die" displays an enviable joie de vivre.  Merritt channels Emmylou Harris on the intimate title track, while the cover of Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song" is a surprising highlight.

Not all of See You On the Moon is a delight though.  Too often Merritt falls into a rut.  Track like "Things That Everybody Does", "After Today", and "Never Talk About It" come across as run-of-the-mill, almost lazy folk.

See You On the Moon has some magnificent highs.  Unfortunately, it's simply too inconsistent an album to warrant an unconditional recommendation.

Best tracks: "Engine To Turn", "Live Till You Die"

Track listing for See You On The Moon:
  • Mixtape
  • Engine To Turn
  • Things That Everybody Does
  • Six More Days Of Rain
  • Feel of the World
  • Never Talk About It
  • All The Reasons We Don't Have To Fight
  • Live Till You Die
  • Papercut
  • See You On the Moon
  • Danny's Song
  • After Today
Tift Merritt's website
Tift Merritt's Myspace

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