Another Country

Tift Merritt

Concord Music Group, 2008

http://tiftmerritt.com/

REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Crowder

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/16/2008

The history of country music is marked by distinct types of singers. There are classic artists like Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, and Brad Paisley, as well as the more alternative/rock country groups Montgomery Gentry and Sugarland. Though trends are leaning more towards pop-like stylings by Taylor Swift and Shania Twain, there is one artist who stays classic and genuine in her music no matter what is weeping the Billboard charts. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Tift Merritt is known for her ability to stay honest in both her lyrics and vocals. Her newest album, Another Country, sounds much more like Alison Kraus than Faith Hill, but the beauty of her voice goes beyond what many of newer artists attempt. Her newest single, "Broken," is more on the contemporary side of Merritt's range, but still feels retro and classic.

Many of the songs on this album sound almost like the bluegrass of John Denver, which is why the fourth track, "Hopes Too High," is so enjoyable to hear. "Something To Me" has the same playful sound, but it’s a tough subject to sing about: "Now the tender hands of morning have given up a new sunrise / And we all get up together in our ordinary lives / Going one step for another giving up has crossed my mind / But I’ll take a long day, come round the right way."

Merritt’s voice has an almost pleading, emotional sound without ever being grating. The title track has that way of saying what needs to be said without using more words than is necessary. "Tender Branch" and "Tell Me Something About True" also show off Merritt’s strong voice while staying fresh and classic. The main gist I get after listening to this album is that she has succeeded in creating a unique sound that reminds me of summer days at my grandpa's house in North Carolina, running barefoot on the river bank.

One of my favorite songs on this album has to be "Keep You Happy," a haunting track that impresses me with how much you can empathize with the music. As with the entire disc, Merritt succeeds in bringing something different and strong without being overpowering. Another Country has the sound of an old school country album with the heart of a current artist, making this a definite pick for any country listener.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2008 Elizabeth Crowder and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Concord Music Group, and is used for informational purposes only.