Siren Records

602498623374

Details

Format: CD
Label: LOST HIGHWAY
Catalog: 252802
Rel. Date: 08/24/2004
UPC: 602498623374

Tambourine
Artist: Tift Merritt
Format: CD
New: IN STOCK AT OUR STORE $14.99
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Formats and Editions

Reviews:

Bramble Rose, Merritt's Lost Highway debut, was a low-key charmer. An understated record full of deep emotion, its down home musicality came courtesy of her touring band, the Carbines. This time out, A-list players such as Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers, Gary Louris of the Jayhawks and Black Crowe Steve Gorman fill the studio; the slick results sound closer to pure product than artistic expression. Gone is the homespun quality that made Bramble Rose so endearing. Worse still, Merritt's vocals have been given a polish that accents her high end at the expense of the smoky, intimate tones of her previous work.

Merritt's songwriting still brings together elements of country, Southern folk and R&B. But though several tracks here sound like radio-ready country-pop, there's no spark, nothing that distinguishes Tambourine from the hundreds of good-but-not-great CDs released every week. That said, the tunes that lean on '60s Southern soul fare better than the rest. Merritt is at her most vulnerable on "Good Hearted Man," declaring her love as a gospel-flavored vocal trio supplies backup; Tench's subtle keyboard triplets combine with some smoky, twangy guitar work to nicely accent the typical he-done-me-wrong song "Still Pretending." "Late Night Pilgrim" and the title track supply a few moments of rock 'n' roll energy, but they're too generic to leave a lasting impression.

"Bramble Rose, Merritt's Lost Highway debut, was a low-key charmer. An understated record full of deep emotion, its down home musicality came courtesy of her touring band, the Carbines. This time out, A-list players such as Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers, Gary Louris of the Jayhawks and Black Crowe Steve Gorman fill the studio; the slick results sound closer to pure product than artistic expression. Gone is the homespun quality that made Bramble Rose so endearing. Worse still, Merritt's vocals have been given a polish that accents her high end at the expense of the smoky, intimate tones of her previous work.

Merritt's songwriting still brings together elements of country, Southern folk and R&B. But though several tracks here sound like radio-ready country-pop, there's no spark, nothing that distinguishes Tambourine from the hundreds of good-but-not-great CDs released every week. That said, the tunes that lean on '60s Southern soul fare better than the rest. Merritt is at her most vulnerable on ""Good Hearted Man,"" declaring her love as a gospel-flavored vocal trio supplies backup; Tench's subtle keyboard triplets combine with some smoky, twangy guitar work to nicely accent the typical he-done-me-wrong song ""Still Pretending."" ""Late Night Pilgrim"" and the title track supply a few moments of rock 'n' roll energy, but they're too generic to leave a lasting impression.

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