Natalie Merchant — Thick As Thieves
Album: Ophelia
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 809









Released: 1998
Length: 6:40
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Remember how it all began
the apple and the fall of man
the price we pay
so the people say

Down the path of shame it led us
dare to bite the hand that fed us
fairy tale the moral end
wheel of fortune never turns again

Never turns again

The worst of it is come and gone in the chaos of millennium
in the falling out of the doomsday crowd
their last retreat is moving slow
they burn their bridges as they go
the heretic is beautified
he'll teach the harlot's child to smile

Wracked again by indecision
should we make that small incision
testify to the bleeding heart inside?
we cut, we scratched
we ran, we slashed
and when he opened up at last
found a cul-de-sac
deep and black
of smoke and ash

The wicked king of parody
is kissing all his enemies
on the seventh day
of the seventh week
the tyrant's voice is softer now
but just for one forgiving hour
before the rise of his
iron fist again
fist again

I've come tonight
I've come to know
the way we are
the way we'll go
come to measure this
the width of the wide abyss

I come to you in restless sleep
where all your dreams turn bittersweet
with voodoo doll philosophies
and day-glow holy trinities

the crooked raft that leaves the shore
ferries drunken souls aboard
pilgrims march to Compostela
visions of their saint in yellow

all follow deep in trance
lost in a catatonic dance
know no future
damn the past
blind, warm, ecstatic
safe at last...
Comments (89)add comment
 h8rhater wrote:
wgsu_1978 wrote:
I was enchanted with the color of Merchant's voice at first. Once her lack of range became apparent I lost interest. 

First of all, losing interest is demonstrably different from slagging the artist on the message board. 

Secondly, "lack of range" as a reason for not appreciating and artist's, especially one as nuanced as Ms. Merchant, work is a poor reason for losing interest.  Many people can hit higher or lower notes than Natalie.  That doesn't mean that they can sing.  Or write.  Or compose. Or perform.
 
My view on this piece and album is that Natalie Merchant created a nuanced set of songs that work very well within her range.  On this track the feedback, keyboards, and overdubbing supplement her voice.  In other words, the performance and composition (which are credited to Natalie Merchant) keep my interest in ways that her live performance of 10,000 Maniacs tunes doesn't on the "Unplugged" album, for example.  Good artists understand their strengths and limitations, but also test them... and occasionally fail ("number nine, number nine, number nine...").  
Thank you, well said.
 

h8rhater wrote:

First of all, losing interest is demonstrably different from slagging the artist on the message board. 

Secondly, "lack of range" as a reason for not appreciating and artist's, especially one as nuanced as Ms. Merchant, work is a poor reason for losing interest.  Many people can hit higher or lower notes than Natalie.  That doesn't mean that they can sing.  Or write.  Or compose. Or perform.

 


 DavidS_UK wrote:
What a toneless load of old tosh!

 
Tosh? What twaddle!
Best "lead guitar" ever. Ok, way up there.
Apparently the 'old saws' apply...
Haters gonna hate.
Those who can't do....post.
 DavidS_UK wrote:
What a toneless load of old tosh!

 
Amen.
Here is my comment (from Blues Traveler's The Hook):

It doesn't matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection

If that is what you want from a singer, Natalie Merchant is not your cup of tea. But that doesn't mean it's bad tea, it's just not your cup of tea. For me, that's another artist who is not Natalie Merchant, who I like (for her lyrics and her voice).

So I hit Play Something Different but don't rate down and try not to comment (by name).
 
 MrsTom wrote:
Can't see why this is disliked so much. She has fewer irritating vocal quirks than many female vocalists 


wgsu_1978 wrote:

I was enchanted with the color of Merchant's voice at first. Once her lack of range became apparent I lost interest. 

 
First of all, losing interest is demonstrably different from slagging the artist on the message board. 

Secondly, "lack of range" as a reason for not appreciating and artist's, especially one as nuanced as Ms. Merchant, work is a poor reason for losing interest.  Many people can hit higher or lower notes than Natalie.  That doesn't mean that they can sing.  Or write.  Or compose. Or perform.
 Proclivities wrote:

The going rate was $737,825.52 last time I checked.

 
{#Roflol}
This I must acquire!

thanks Bill! 
 MrsTom wrote:
Can't see why this is disliked so much. She has fewer irritating vocal quirks than many female vocalists 

 
I was enchanted with the color of Merchant's voice at first. Once her lack of range became apparent I lost interest. 
Can't see why this is disliked so much. She has fewer irritating vocal quirks than many female vocalists 
 bam23 wrote:
Tonight I heard the lyrics. This is not trite pop pablum. For reasons that defy logic, a disappointing number of listeners here choose to dislike her music almost as if it represents an affront to their esthetic standards. Listen to the music and make sense of the thought in the words and you may come to appreciate the artistry here, as I have.

 
Yes, enjoy the music -and- the lecture...
 Relayer wrote:
How much would I have to donate to remove Natalie from RP forever?  Another long drawn out slow song that has nothing going for it.  

 
The going rate was $737,825.52 last time I checked.
 Relayer wrote:
How much would I have to donate to remove Natalie from RP forever?  Another long drawn out slow song that has nothing going for it.  

 
I am happy to  experience her talent and voice here. I guess you can switch to other internet radio when Natalie's songs come on. If I'm not fond of something I rate it low and move on.
How much would I have to donate to remove Natalie from RP forever?  Another long drawn out slow song that has nothing going for it.  
This song would be a 10 for the amazing vocals and wistful lyrics, except the instrumentation really seems to have aged badly.
Hard to rate her. Her voice is so heavenly you can only rate her against her other songs...
 
 bam23 wrote:
Tonight I heard the lyrics. This is not trite pop pablum. For reasons that defy logic, a disappointing number of listeners here choose to dislike her music almost as if it represents an affront to their esthetic standards. Listen to the music and make sense of the thought in the words and you may come to appreciate the artistry here, as I have.

 
Has nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with aesthetics, opinion, and, is absolutely subjective. I have read the lyrics and given this album a chance, I just don't like her voice. I appreciate art, and artistry, but that does not mean I have to like it. 
 LizK wrote:
Count me as a fan.  This does have some weird phases in it, BUT, I like her voice.  Intelligent songwriting and a willingness to take risks. 

 
....yep, me too