The Record Collector album review: Natalie Merchant Live In Concert

Natalie Merchant
Live In Concert
Elektra (60:09)

Originally published in Record Collector magazine, December 1999

Recorded in New York last June, the thirty-something singer serenades us with intimate renditions of favourites from her 10,000 Maniacs days and material from her two solo albums – though with last year’s underperforming Ophelia represented only by its title track, as opposed to five cuts from the three million-selling Tigerlily, commercial considerations obviously prey on the mind of the most plaintive performers. It is, though, a remarkably faithful acoustic take of Bowie’s Space Oddity that steals the show: instrumentally impeccable and suitably sombre, it would make an excellent end of the millennium single. Are you listening, Elektra?

Steve Pafford