Natalie Merchant Ophelia

Rating 4.4
272 ratings
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Item:  WBM 62196

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CD Details

  • Released: May 19, 1998
  • Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw

Entertainment Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 6/11/98, p.116
3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...replaces the skintight band of that solo breakthrough [TIGERLILY} with a shifting cast of players, reaching out to include brass and strings. Yet like the debut, OPHELIA devotes itself to...the unstructured luxury of Merchant's sound..."
Rolling Stone - 6/11/98, p.116
3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...replaces the skintight band of that solo breakthrough [TIGERLILY} with a shifting cast of players, reaching out to include brass and strings. Yet like the debut, OPHELIA devotes itself to...the unstructured luxury of Merchant's sound..."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/29/98, pp.72-73
"...OPHELIA is more affluently produced, her swoons and sighs accompanied by layers of church-service organs, dashes of world-music vocalizing and Daniel Lanois' guitar....Other than Bruce Springsteen's GHOST OF TOM JOAD, it's hard to recall a pop album in recent memory that's been so relentlessly somber..." - Rating: B
Entertainment Weekly - 5/29/98, pp.72-73
"...OPHELIA is more affluently produced, her swoons and sighs accompanied by layers of church-service organs, dashes of world-music vocalizing and Daniel Lanois' guitar....Other than Bruce Springsteen's GHOST OF TOM JOAD, it's hard to recall a pop album in recent memory that's been so relentlessly somber..." - Rating: B

Tracks:

  • 1.Ophelia
  • 2.Life Is Sweet
  • 3.Kind & Generous
  • 4.Frozen Charlotte
  • 5.My Skin
  • 6.Break Your Heart
  • 7.King of May
  • 8.Thick as Thieves
  • 9.Effigy
  • 10.The Living
  • 11.When They Ring The Golden Bells / Ophelia (Reprise)

Product Description:

Personnel includes: Natalie Merchant (vocals, piano, Wurlitzer, Hammond organ); Karl Berger, Gavin Bryars (conductor); Karen Perris (vocals, acoustic guitar); N'Dea Davenport, Yungchen Lhamo (vocals); Lokua Kanza (acoustic guitar); Graham Maby (electric guitar, bass); Daniel Lanois, Don Perris (electric guitar); Krystof Witek, Hector Falcon (violin); Wendy Gillespie (treble viol); Conroy Kuo, Ralph Farris (viola); Julia Hodgson, Richard Campbell (tenor viol); Susanna Pell (bass viol); Michelle Kinney, Garo Yellin (cello); William Hunt (great bass); Chris Botti (trumpet); Tom Varner (French Horn); George Laks (piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond organ); Jay Brunga (acoustic bass); Peter Yanowitz (drums).
Engineers: Todd Vos, John Holbrook, Rupert Coulso.
Recorded at Talking Dwarf Studios, Little Valley, New York; Air Studios, London, England.
Personnel includes: Natalie Merchant (vocals, piano, Wurlitzer piano,
Hammond B-3 organ); Karen Perris (vocals, acoustic guitar); N'Dea Davenport, Yungchen Lhamo (vocals); Karl Berger, Gavin Bryars (conductor); Craig Ross (acoustic & electric guitars); Lokua Kanza (acoustic guitar); Graham Maby (electric guitar, bass); Daniel Lanois, Don Perris (electric guitar); Krystof Witek, Hector Falcon (violin); Conroy Kuo, Ralph Farris (viola); Michelle Kinney, Garo Yellin (cello); Chris Botti (trumpet); Tom Varner (French horn); George Laks (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Jay Brunga (acoustic bass); Peter Yanowitz (drums).
Engineers include: Todd Vos, John Holbrook, Rupert Coulso.
Recorded at Talking Dwarf Studios, Little Valley, New York; Air Studios, London, England.
After her departure from 10,000 Maniacs, Merchant declared her artistic independence with the enormously popular TIGERLILY, an album not entirely dissimilar in style to her former group. Her highly anticipated followup mines a somewhat more introspective vein, as Merchant pursues her muse at length (many cuts hover around the five minute mark). The bulk of the tunes here are ballads adorned by piano, organ and strings, often achieving an almost ecclesiastical tone, as on the title cut, an exploration of a mythical woman who appears in many guises throughout history.
Even relatively upbeat tunes like "Kind & Generous" and "Break Your Heart" retain the delicacy, sweetness and luxurious feel that have become Merchant's trademarks. The aforementioned spiritual element resurfaces in the bible-conscious lyrics of "Thick As Thieves" and the almost Carter Family-ish country spiritual "When They Ring The Golden Bells," a Merchant original that sounds like it could have been written 100 years ago. Presumably, that's just the kind of timelessness Merchant is aiming for on OPHELIA.
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Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.4
Based on 272 ratings.
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Product Info:

  • UPC: 075596219624
  • Shipping Weight: 0.14/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item