by Brad Tucker
Tift Merritt’s third release, Another Country, comes in the wake of a solitary stay in Paris. Merritt holed up with a guitar and a piano, penning the new album after four years away from the studio. The opening track “Something to Me” brings to mind early Jackson Browne, both in its lively “Doctor My Eyes” swing, and in the reflective, low key emotionality of Merritt’s lyrics, featuring lines like ‘gentle is the road within me and it’s gently I depart/ ‘cause these well-worn threads of daylight will sometimes come apart.” Among the up-beat tunes, “Broken” builds to a radio-friendly chorus, and “Tell Me Something True” moves Merritt closer to her soul leanings, organ and horns included. “Keep You Happy” is the most moving song on the album, with Merritt’s soft vocals singing lines like “Day breaks of loneliness/ I’d weather all of this/ If I could find a place where I’d Keep you happy” over strings and shimmering electric guitar. While she is the possessor of an outstanding voice and an established penchant for solid song craft, ultimately, Another Country is more of the same from Tift Merritt.