An­other Coun­try Uni­ver­sal

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - JOE BREEN

Down­load tracks: Some­thing to Me, Hopes Too High, My Heart Is Free It’s hard not to feel a lit­tle twang of dis­ap­point­ment at this third album by the wo­man de­scribed by Un­cut mag­a­zine as the most ac­com­plished Amer­i­can fe­male singer-song­writer to emerge in a decade. Mer­ritt’s de­but stirred mem­o­ries of Em­my­lou in her prime; her sec­ond album had a gritty coun­try-soul per­son­al­ity. This col­lec­tion, mostly writ­ten dur­ing a so­journ in Paris, seems tame by com­par­i­son. Per­haps it’s the overly safe pro­duc­tion, which high­lights her voice to the detri­ment of the over­all bal­ance. Mer­ritt is a lively spark with an en­gag­ingly soft cen­tre. Here she is mostly just soft. That said, she writes and sings with an open heart, and her melodies have a re­mark­able knack of al­ways feel­ing warm and familiar. She can do bet­ter, but this will do nicely for now. www.tift­mer­ritt.com

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