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Another Country (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

North Carolina-bred alt-country singer Tift Merritt went to Paris, holed up in a studio apartment with a piano, and wrote Another Country, the 2008 follow-up to her GRAMMY®-nominated second album Tambourine. Yet, this is not an album of parlor room piano ballads. With Black Crowes and Jayhawks producer George Drakoulias organizing all-star guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone alongside Tift’s longtime band, Another Country is a light, natural, and flowing collection of songs where Merritt’s sweet twists of melody take her conversational lyrics and ride them out from the morning light into the struggle of the day. The band keeps a safe distance, never overpowering the sentiments. The serene pulse behind “Keep You Happy” creeps up steadily and slowly, as Merritt offers sweet assurance. While her singing is confident throughout, listen closely and the self-doubt that lingers underneath the surface of “I Know What I’m Looking for Now” leaks out over the calming organ chords, just as her inner resolve rescues the disappointments of “Broken” from overwhelming her. Merrittt’s an elusive, emotionally complex performer.

Customer Reviews

Almost Great!

I hate to admit that I think Tift could be better. Because this is an album of amazing beauty and wisdom and accomplishment. But then I've seen her live, solo, and I think she's better with a single guitar or piano. Now, this is splitting hairs I suppose. What is the difference between 4 and 5 stars. But go see her; that is as good as music gets. These songs range from sense making evolutionary steps like Another Country and Broken, which take what she started with her previos efforts and grow, to groundbreaking moments of breathtaking songwriting on Keep You Happy and Tender Branch. I think we are witnessing one of the truly great songwriters of our time. And if I'm being honest, 4 stars is because she has to be graded on a curve against herself, a 5 star singer, songwriter, and perfomer. You should all go buy this right now! And see her live show whenever you can.

Tift Merritt's Finest Hour

The question of whether or not the best art comes from suffering has sustained for time immemorial. Of course, having the talent to facilitate such distinction factors into the issue as well, but countless artists in all fields and genres have indeed produced sublime and lasting works in the throes of distress. With her third album, Another Country, singer/songwriter Tift Merritt joins this ubiquitous array of artists by not only summoning poignant and beautiful music out of anguish, but also in delivering her finest album to date. The young woman who lit out like a Southern spitfire on her two previous albums, Bramble Rose and Tambourine, now is disillusioned and highly introspective. She says so in some rather touching liner notes, but you can just as easily hear it on the album. She's insecure yet disarmingly unguarded with fresh hurt in her voice, an indication that – in the writing and singing of these songs – she's working something through. A warm reflection of its contemplative tone, much of the album's music harvests lilting, modest melodies. "Tender Branch" bends and sways like its title suggests while "Keep You Happy" aches with unmistakable longing. "Hopes Too High" and "Broken" are both underscored by some particularly agile guitar work. Throughout, piano and subtle string progressions cradle Merritt's inherently sensual vocals, which fluctuate from delicate to determined in their timbre and strength. Merritt's honey-soaked voice, above all, is what distinguishes this album as exceptional. Even at her most discouraged, she imparts such an unassuming amount of sultriness that her often-melancholy perspective winds up personalizing each song's impact to a penetrating extent. Her wistful, come-hither inflections on "Morning Is My Destination" are enough to make you put on "Breakfast In Bed" from Dusty In Memphis for an analogous comparison. And her sad yearning for love on "Another Country" feels more and more passionate upon each listen, making it one of the most absorbing songs on the album. In her liner notes, Tift Merritt writes about how, in a time of personal turmoil, she emigrated to France (hence the album title and its thematic symbolism). Though she doesn't come clean on what exactly she left behind, it was enough to encourage a new environment in which to reassess her life. And while reading her passage isn't necessary to appreciate the album, it does offer a stirring impression that invariably puts this music into sharper context. Another Country, quite simply, is Tift Merritt's gorgeous and compelling response to her own crushed spirit.


I loved Tift's 1st two albums, but "Another Country" blew me away. The title track is beautiful. Every day I change which track is my favorite. I really connect with these songs, with Tift's struggles as she wrote in Paris. What a gift of music.


Born: January 8, 1975 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Tift Merritt seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the spring of 2002 with her acclaimed debut album, Bramble Rose, but as is often the case, this triple-threat artist -- a gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist -- actually has plenty of experience under her belt. Born in Houston, Texas in 1975, Merritt's family moved to North Carolina when she was young and she's lived there ever since. Merritt first developed an interest in music when she was a child and learned...
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