Ophelia (album)

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Natalie Merchant Ophelia.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 May 1998
RecordedJuly 1996 - May 1997
StudioTalking Dwarf Studios, Little Valley, New York & AIR Studios, London, England
GenrePop, Rock, Folk
ProducerNatalie Merchant
Natalie Merchant chronology
Live in Concert
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[2]
Pitchfork Media(4.1/10)[4]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]

Ophelia is the title of a 1998 album, film, and song by Natalie Merchant.

"Kind & Generous" was the most successful single of the album, reaching the Top 20 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]

All songs written by Natalie Merchant.[6]

  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 the Golden Bells (with Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission) / Ophelia (Reprise)" (string arrangement by Gavin Bryars – 9:33


Chart (1998) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[7] 56
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 26
US Billboard 200 8


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  3. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-16.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Q, 3/5 stars, May 1999
  6. ^ "Ophelia". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  7. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.