Motherland - Natalie Merchant
Motherland Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The singer's third solo album was produced by T-Bone Burnett.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Track after solid track, "Motherland" is a collection of pure, soulful offerings.
  2. Merchant has achieved a lovely balance of art and craft.
  3. 80
    The thread which binds is Merchant's seductive, bittersweet voice, something which quickly finds the richer you, than nourishes it. [Dec 2001, p.104]
  4. 80
    Natalie Merchant has made an album of elemental beauty... she's never sounded better. [Jan 2002, p.140]
  5. These tunes don't have the big melodic hooks of "Wonder" or "Jealousy," but that doesn't lessen their beauty. [16 Nov 2001, p.172]
  6. 60
    Like her two previous solo records, Merchant's stately gloom is the stuff of pretension and precision, and her serviceably beautiful voice comes off as either darkly charming or annoyingly lilting (sometimes both at the same time).
  7. At times her dark warnings about the devil and bluesy intonation sound affected, but full marks for trying out new ground. [Dec 2001, p.127]

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. KevinS.
    Jan 27, 2002
    Merchant produces her most ambitious album to date -- and lyrically she solidifies her place with great American women poets, including Emily Dickenson. Musically she explores uncharted territory: "Golden Boy," a song about making celebrities out of criminals, "This House is On Fire," a Middle-Eastern groove dub which eerily brings back memories of September 11th in a narrative only Merchant could produce, and "Henry Darger," an ambitious ballad recounting the life of the forgotten folk-art hero of the same name, would make any 10,000 maniacs fan and cynic of Merchant's commercially successful solo career listen twice. Expand
  2. ChristianBurial
    Jan 5, 2002
    An intensely political and personal tapestry album interwoven with Natalie Merchant's alluring, maturing vocals makes this another beautiful achievement. Fully realized and cohesive in its marriage of styles and themes, more world-music focused in its blues than any of her previous works. Fantabulous! Expand
  3. AmandaG
    Feb 23, 2006
    This album enchanted me easily from the first notes of the first track. Staying true to her roots, Merchant's art resonates through her compositions as she flirts with a variety of musical genres. Expand
  4. DavidK.
    May 8, 2003
    Probably her best solo effort so far -- if you're a fan, don't hesitate -- you won't be disappointed. There's a new sound and ethos here, that Merchant hasn't displayed before. Her voice is aging well, showing subtle and rich nuances -- and a deft skill of song interpretation. Expand
  5. JoeG
    Feb 16, 2006
    A good friend recommended this to me, so I felt duty bound to give it a go as I generally like female singer/songwriters. Some nice enough songs but can't fall in love with it. The first track makes for a particularly uninspiring start. Expand

See all 6 User Reviews