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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Merritt
After the brilliance of Bramble Rose, Tambourine and Another Country it is difficult to believe that with her fourth studio album Tift Merritt has maintained a standard of songwriting, musicianship and performance that is nothing short of perfection. Oh, and her band isn't bad either!

Her sensuous voice glides through ten of her own numbers (and one by Kenny...
Published on 29 May 2010 by Angel Delta

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Air Of Familiarity....
There is an air of familiarity around Tift Merritt's fourth album 'See You On The Moon'. In itself this is not a problem as there are some great songs such as 'Engine to Turn' and the stunning 'Feel of the World'(featuring Jim James on harmony). It's just at times you feel that you're listening to songs that Tift has done better before. The only real departure is album...
Published on 1 Aug 2010 by J. Willis


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Merritt, 29 May 2010
By 
Angel Delta (Southsea Hants) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: See You On The Moon (Audio CD)
After the brilliance of Bramble Rose, Tambourine and Another Country it is difficult to believe that with her fourth studio album Tift Merritt has maintained a standard of songwriting, musicianship and performance that is nothing short of perfection. Oh, and her band isn't bad either!

Her sensuous voice glides through ten of her own numbers (and one by Kenny Loggins and another by Emitt Rhodes) with prominent piano and pedal steel and tasteful arrangements for viola, violin, clarinet, flute and saxophone,

Tift Merritt refuses to acknowledge the mainstream and stays close to her own vision of alt country and Americana. Just listen to the haunting beauty of "Six More Days Of Rain" with a crackling piano and drums accompaniment or the yearning splendour of the title track "See You On The Moon" with simple guitar and chamber strings. And then, her reading of Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song" is an understated masterpiece and "The Thing That Everybody Does" is heartachingly beautiful. There is not a track on this album that fails to inspire, everything is high on emotion.

The casual listener may not find the album immediately accessible but after a few plays the sheer beauty and artistry of it will surely overwhelm.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Houston, we have a slight problem...., 1 Jun 2010
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This review is from: See You On The Moon (Audio CD)
Another Country released in 2008 was something of a disappointment, so hopes were high for Tift Merritt's long-awaited follow-up. There were a number of occasions during my first listen to this album when I found myself trying hard to distance it from the standard-setting of 'Stray Paper' which appeared on her second album, Tambourine. There is nothing here that quite equals the splendour of that one song, and therein lies the problem. Tift Merritt has a fabulous voice; truly distinctive, breathy and soothing, but equally able to belt out a rocker or two when the occasion demands. Her first two albums suggested that she was a bright new star of cliche-free Americana, able to deal equally well with rootsy rockers and sensitive ballads, with only minimal Nashville gloss chucked into the mix, and some extra horns and soulful vocals on Tambourine.

See You On The Moon is a natural extension to Another Country, and like its predecessor lacks a certain focus and direction. When it's good, it's very good, as witnessed by 'Engine To Turn', 'Never Talk About It' and 'Six More Days Of Rain', but other songs here are distinctly underwhelming, including the meandering final track 'After Today' and the pretty but slight title song 'See You On The Moon'.

Critically, Tift Merritt seems to have ditched the rootsy sound and taken a further step into the mainstream. It's a move that may be calculated to broaden her appeal, but could also be counter-productive in diluting the impact of what made her distinctive in the first place. While she is nowhere near guilty of the horrendous stylistic errors and over-production that rendered Mindy Smith's latest album almost unlistenable, Tift Merritt walks a fine line on this album but may just about have pulled it off. There's enough here to keep the faithful happy, and give it time and a few listens and these songs have an insidious but benign ability to slip into place. A grower then, but See You On The Moon is not yet the belter of an album that Tift Merritt's early promise suggested she should have delivered by now.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Air Of Familiarity...., 1 Aug 2010
By 
J. Willis (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: See You On The Moon (Audio CD)
There is an air of familiarity around Tift Merritt's fourth album 'See You On The Moon'. In itself this is not a problem as there are some great songs such as 'Engine to Turn' and the stunning 'Feel of the World'(featuring Jim James on harmony). It's just at times you feel that you're listening to songs that Tift has done better before. The only real departure is album opener 'Mixtape', all 70's sounding strings, somewhat reminiscent of the sound Josh Rouse went for on his '1972' album, and it's just as convincing. Tift Merritt remains one of my favourite vocalists and is still a great songwriter, but 'See You On The Moon' feels like a consolidation of her talents rather than a huge leap forward.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another stellar release from Tift (4.5 stars), 3 Jun 2010
By 
David Kennedy "DKHTown" (HOUSTON, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: See You On The Moon (Audio CD)
Once upon a time, Tift Merritt was the next-big-thing, either in the Alt.Country universe or even in the regular Country universe (she did, after all, receive an inexplicable Best Country Album Grammy nomination for the genre-bending Tambourine). For obvious reasons - let's call them "sales numbers" - Universal subsidiary Lost Highway unceremoniously dumped Merritt, partially explaining a four year absence before releasing Another Country in 2008 on Concord Music's Fantasy label. That album went a long way in resetting expectations for Merrit's music, largely abandoning the rock-n-soul throwdown approach that highlighted Tambourine as well as Merritt's gritty live performances. What emerged in its place was an uncommonly thoughtful and graceful artist, equally at ease behind a grand piano as she was fronting her soulful band.

See You On The Moon only reinforces the notion Tift Merritt is most at home in her introspective skin, and the new record certainly builds on the success of Another Country. Most importantly, with the help of producer Tucker Martine she has found new ways to frame her music that are surprising yet subtle. The album's opener "Mixtape" is perhaps the most surprising, drenched in 1970's R&B conventions complete with dramatic stabs of strings. If Merritt was looking to throw down the gauntlet to declare her diversity, she chose a heckuva great opening track. However, skeptical fans will be relieved to hear the second track "Engine To Turn" which manages the neat trick of being melancholy and sublimely hopeful at the same time. Thanks to a gently swelling arrangement, it may also be the most beautifully produced song she's ever recorded (though that honor could easily go instead to the fifth track "Feel Of The World", which features My Morning Jacket's Jim James on ghostly backing vocals).

The album's second half is highlighted by a muscular cover of Emmit Rhodes' "Live Till You Die" and a return to the classic R&B vibe with "Papercut". The album's home stretch turns delicate with a trio of songs starting with the title track. It is followed by lovely take on the Anne Murray (!) hit "Danny's Song" before winding up with the socially conscious "After Today". Closing out a record with three mellow performances is perhaps not the most advisable commercial move, but it's really with these songs that you appreciate the depth of Merritt's singing and performing talent. There's really no other singer that I can call to mind (okay, maybe Patty Griffin or Emmylou Harris) who so pours her heart and soul into her songs the way Merritt does so completely.

What Tift Merritt does so well - and what so few other singer-songwriters do - is tackle heartwrenching themes while finding the hope buried underneath. At times, one gets the impression that her own music career has required more perseverence than even Merritt thought she had. That she's found more success on her new label and built a committed fanbase with little more than beautiful music and hard work should be a lesson to aspiring musicians, if not the music industry at large. If this album has a weak spot, it's that the good material on the album's second half is a bit overshadowed by its nearly flawless first half. It's a mild criticism to note that See You On The Moon merely builds upon her previous three excellent records, rather than transcend them completely. That's a tall order for an artist as consistent as Tift Merritt, but I'm fairly certain - based on abundance evidence here - that such a record is still very much in her future.

In the meantime, you can be sure that See You On The Moon is one of the best records you'll hear this year.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Work, 9 July 2010
This review is from: See You On The Moon (Audio CD)
Really liked this album, have never listened to any previous work and new to country music, but found this really moving, relaxing and excellent to listen to whilst driving
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