Natalie Merchant – Natalie Merchant (2014) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Natalie Merchant – Natalie Merchant (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 49:09 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital booklet | @ Nonesuch

Natalie Merchant’s new self-titled is the multi-platinum singer’s sixth solo collection, and her first of entirely original songs in 13 years. This self-produced album is the work of a mature artist with a clear and distinctive voice. Long appreciated for the depth and substance of her writing, Merchant has never shied away from weighty themes or subjects for her lyrics. She describes the new release as informed “by experience and keen observation,” dealing with issues of “love gained and lost, regret, denial, surrender, greed, destructiveness, defeat, and occasional triumph”.

Combining three decades of experience in song writing and album making, Merchant’s production style is nuanced and pure. Her voice is framed by a balanced blend of electric and acoustic sound throughout with musicianship of exceptional quality. String, brass, and woodwind arrangements mingle with Hammond organ and electric guitar improvisations. Players include John Medeski, Shawn Pelton, Clark Gayton, Uri Sharlin, Jesse Murphy, Erik Della Penna, Gabriel Gordon, and guest vocalists Simi Stone, Elizabeth Mitchell, and gospel singer Corliss Stafford.

Natalie Merchant is marketed as the successor to 2001’s Motherland, suggesting it’s Merchant’s first album since, but that isn’t strictly true. She independently released a collection of folk covers called The House Carpenter’s Daughter in 2003 and, most notably, the ambitious double-disc neo-children’s album Leave Your Sleep in 2010 — distinctive work both but she hasn’t dedicated herself fully to original material in 13 years, so Natalie Merchant is indeed noteworthy. Feeling neither pent-up nor fussy, the eponymous album is handsome, deliberate, and familiar; she’s not picking up where she left off, she’s merely resuming her career, not acting like any time or fashion has passed in her absence. Which isn’t to say Merchant operates as if it’s still her ’90s heyday. She obliquely references Hurricane Katrina with “Go Down, Moses,” but the strongest evidence that Merchant knows perfectly well it’s 2014 is how she embraces her middle age. Even at the start of her career, Merchant aspired to sound wise and old and now that she’s reached 50, she’s exceedingly comfortable in her skin, never rushing her tempos, luxuriating in lush orchestral arrangements that are rarely Baroque and often find a nice contrast with softer, folkier moments, choosing to be melodic while studiously avoiding direct hooks. Natalie Merchant is not a progression so much as a deepening and, as such, it offers a quiet comfort for anyone who has ever loved her music.

01 – Ladybird
02 – Maggie Said
03 – Texas
04 – Go Down Moses
05 – Seven Deadly Sins
06 – Giving Up Everything
07 – Black Sheep
08 – It’s A-Coming
09 – Lulu (Introduction)
10 – Lulu
11 – The End

Natalie Merchant, vocals (1-8, 10, 11)
Gabriel Gordon, electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 6-8, 10), acoustic guitar (1- 5, 7, 9)
Erik Della Penna, electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 7, 8), lap steel guitar (3, 5), acoustic guitar (9)
Uri Sharlin, grand piano (1, 4, 10), Wurlitzer piano (2), accordion (5), electric piano (7), upright tack piano (9, 10)
John Medeski, organ (1, 4), electric keyboard (2)
Jesse Murphy, electric bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 7), acoustic bass (5, 10), tuba (9)
Shawn Pelton, drums (1, 2, 4-7)
Johanna Warren, backing vocals (1, 2, 6)
Simi Stone, backing vocals (1, 4)
Tamar-kali, backing vocals (1)
Lisa Kim, Sharon Yamada, violin (1, 6, 10, 11)
Quan Ge, Joanna Maurer, Liz Lim, Sein Ryu, violin (1, 6, 11)
Robert Rinehart, viola (1, 6, 10, 11)
Vivek Kamath, viola (1)
Alan Stepansky, cello (1, 6, 10, 11)
Wei Yu, cello (1)
John Patitucci, double bass (1)
Jeremy McCoy, double bass (1, 6, 11)
Stephen Barber, string arrangement (1), string & woodwind arrangement (10)
Sandra Park, orchestra contractor (1, 6, 10, 11)
Jacob Owen, copyist (1, 11)
Elizabeth Mitchell, backing vocals (2, 6)
Marc Friedman, electric bass (3, 8)
Andrew Barr, drums (3, 8)
Corliss Stafford, vocals (4)
Clark Gayton, horn arrangement (4), trombone & tuba (4, 5)
Eddie Allen, trumpet & flugelhorn (4, 5)
Kyle Armbrust, viola (6, 11)
Ru Pie Yeh, cello (6, 11)
Kurt Muroki, double bass (6, 11)
Nadége Foofat, Tony Finno, string arrangement (6, 11)
Steve Elson, saxophones & clarinet (7)
Jonathan Dreyden, organ (8)
Kenny Wollesen, drums & percussion (9, 10)
Mindy Kaufmann, flute (10)
Anthony McGill, clarinet (10)
Marc Goldberg, bassoon (10)

Produced by Natalie Merchant
Recorded by Eli Walker & George Cowan
with the exception of “It’s a-Coming” & “Texas,” recorded by Paul Antonell & Eli Walker
Recorded at The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, NY
Additional string & woodwind sessions recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Mixed by Eli Walker at The Magic Shop, New York, NY
Assistant engineer at The Clubhouse: Bella Blasko
Assistant engineers at Electric Lady Studios: John Horne & Elizabeth Bauer
Assistant engineers at The Magic Shop: Kabir Hermon & Alex Nappi
Project coordinator: Jennifer McKinley, assisted by Summer Damon