Ophelia (album)

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Ophelia
Studio album by Natalie Merchant
Released 19 May 1998
Recorded Talking Dwarf Studios, Little Valley, New York & AIR Studios, London, England, July 1996 - May 1997
Genre Pop, Rock
Length 56:38
Label Elektra
Producer Natalie Merchant
Natalie Merchant chronology
Tigerlily
(1995)
Ophelia
(1998)
Live in Concert
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B[2]
Pitchfork Media (4.1/10)[3]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[4]

Ophelia is the title of a 1998 album, film, and song by Natalie Merchant. As evidenced in the pictures in the booklet that comes with the album, Merchant seems to see Shakespeare's Ophelia as a figure encompassing many important feminine archetypes.[attribution needed] The album and film explore several of these.

"Kind & Generous" was the most successful single of the album, reaching the Top 10 in the U.S. whilst Merchant was on tour with Lilith Fair. "Break Your Heart" also received single and video treatment. These and the other videos from the album, plus three from Tigerlily, were gathered on a Warner Music Vision home video, also entitled Ophelia. "I love the opportunity to flex my thespian muscle," Merchant quips on it.[5]

The song "King of May" is a tribute to poet Allen Ginsberg.[citation needed]

In 2009, a line from "My Skin," accompanied by images of animal abuse, served as the basis for an ASPCA commercial. It was also featured in the television series Alias some years earlier.

"Kind & Generous", "The Living", "Break Your Heart" and "Life is Sweet" appeared on Merchant's best-of collection, Retrospective: 1995–2005.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ophelia" – 5:10
  2. "Life is Sweet" – 5:12
  3. "Kind & Generous" – 4:07
  4. "Frozen Charlotte" (with Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission) – 5:23
  5. "My Skin" – 5:30
  6. "Break Your Heart" (with N'Dea Davenport) – 4:47
  7. "King of May" – 4:09
  8. "Thick as Thieves" – 6:57
  9. "Effigy" – 2:30
  10. "The Living" – 3:18
  11. "When They Ring Them Golden Bells (with Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission) / Ophelia (Reprise)" (string arrangement by Gavin Bryars[citation needed]) – 9:33

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
New Zealand Albums Chart 26
US Billboard 200 8

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  3. ^ Pitchfork Media review at the Wayback Machine (archived July 25, 2008)
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived July 6, 2008)
  5. ^ Q, 3/5 stars, May 1999