It’s strange that such an unusual song as “Mixtape” – with its staggered, clustered vocals and soft, intimate lyrics – would be so effective to open Tift Merritt’s fourth solo studio. In stark contrast to her “Another Country,” which at times plays by the book, the Houston-born singer-songwriter ventures into different musical flavors, darker hues of orchestration, violins, slower tempos, piano and acoustic guitar. Fans here will find a slight shift in color, but will rejoice with the title track and the trembling cover of “Danny’s Song”; those unfamiliar with the young singer will find an excellent sampling of an artist stretching her musical voice. “Feel of the World,” we find, is an excellent example of Merritt tapping into instrumentally heavier material than she normally explores, and probably our favorite selection. Expect a more sober, contemplative side to this versatile musician; that and well-crafted, enjoyable music. Recommended.
Listen to “Mixtape”: www.myspace.com/453173424