Natalie Merchant has reached THAT point in her career. The point where she has played all the american style music she can handle and must reach out to other cultures to find new music avenues to explore. It’s with this in mind that we look at ‘Motherland’ as remembering where you came from, but not being afraid to visit elsewhere.
The opening of ‘This House Is On Fire’ combines Natalie’s folky-rock sound with some Middle Eastern flair. As always, Natalie has something to say, but on Motherland she spends more time than ever dealing with the world’s politics and trying to make sense of things, a task no one will ever accomplish.
The title track, ‘Motherland’ is a stand out track for Merchant. Her voice soars and the music is something her fans have come to associate with her, smart, touching, real. ‘Build A Levee’ follows the same suit as the ‘Motherland.’ It’s definitely a candidate for a future single.
The album explores more sounds throughout. ‘The Ballad Of Henry Danger’ is definitely one of the more odd songs. It’s got an almost classical feel, but at the same time it’s whimsical. Natalie adds some interesting vocal touches to this song. It’s one definitely worth a listen.
Natalie spends a lot of time exploring world music and working on new ideas, but don’t expect Peter Gabriel or David Byrne type music here, it’s still the same music we’ve all grown to love from Natalie Merchant, just with a bit of fresh air blown there.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at email@example.com.