Natalie Merchant

Fri, May 2, 2014, 00:00


Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant


Singer / Songwriter

An eponymous title for Natalie Merchant’s sixth solo album (and her first of all-new songs in 13 years) is either a failure of imagination or a sign of a major statement. Considering the personal rollercoaster Merchant has experienced since 2001’s Motherland (married, mother, divorced), it’s not surprising that this new one weighs heavily on reflexivity and reflection. There is weariness and hurt in her voice, but also a determination to carry on. It remains an extraordinary voice, as old as the hills and as mysterious, yet also familiar, warm and passionate. Maggie Said, Go Down, Moses, It’s a Coming and centrepiece, Giving Up Everything have the intensity and sheen of Merchant’s best work. It takes time, and there is the odd excess (eg the strings on Ladybird), but Natalie Merchant, at 50, remains a singular talent.
Download: Giving Up Everything, Maggie Said