What does it sound like?:
I have to declare my bias at the start of this review. Natalie Merchant has one of my favourite female voices
both solo and in 10,000 maniacs. In fact both the Maniacs In my Tribe and her solo Ophelia appeared in my top 100 albums that featured on this site a while back. Ophelia just shades Tigerlily for me because of King of May which is just a phenomenal song that has deep sentimentality for me that I don’t need to go into on here. When it was announced that Natalie had re-recorded the Tigerlily songs I was excited because it was a new release and she puts her heart and soul into all of her work. The nearest similarity I could think of was Joni’s Travelogue which I consider to be a mixed bag of success and failure. With Tigerlily it is an unqualified success. Today ahead of this review I played the original and the new release back to back as it is some years since I have listened to Tigerlily start to finish. The original album had 4 key songs in San Andreas Fauly, Beloved Wife, River and Carnival. The revised versions of these songs are all the equal of the originals but probably don’t add that much. It is the lesser songs that to me really shine – Jealousy and Seven Years in particular far outshine their original incarnations. In her sleeve notes Natalie says that there voice is the most noticeable change, I am not so sure. The instrumentation is what most markedly stands out. The strings and the percussion in particular are much more rounded and warm giving the album a cosy glow – perfect for early winter nights. It is Natalies belief that ‘there is a bit of tyranny in trapping a song inside a single performance’ hence this revision. I couldn’t agree more and this is a splendid album in a great year for new music.
What does it all *mean*?
This lady can do no wrong in my book. Needs no further explanation.
Goes well with…
Chilled nights, glass of wine, wistfulness.
Might suit people who like…
Good music and in particular craftsmanship. None of the musicians on the new release played on the original but they add something and both entities stand alone.