Leave Your Sleep

Studio Album by released in 2010
Leave Your Sleep's tracklist:
Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
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Equestrienne
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Calico Pie
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Bleezer's Ice-Cream
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It Makes a Change
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The King of China's Daughter
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The Dancing Bear
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The Man in the Wilderness
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Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
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If No One Ever Marries Me
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The Sleepy Giant
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The Peppery Man
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The Blind Men and the Elephant
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Adventures of Isabel
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The Walloping Window Blind
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Topsyturvey-World
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The Janitor's Boy
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Griselda
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The Land of Nod
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Vain and Careless
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Crying, My Little One
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Sweet and a Lullaby
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I Saw a Ship A-Sailing
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Autumn Lullaby
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Spring and Fall: To a Young Child
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Indian Names
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Leave Your Sleep review

Natalie Merchant’s grand project

It was clear soon and to everyone that Natalie Merchant was the dominant driving force behind the movement of 10,000 Maniacs. A nice singer, she has always had and does have now an amazing skill to turn into a different stage image in a blink of an eye, a skill that helps control such a wild and unpredictable being as concert crowd. Natalie’s band did not last long; and she has been acting as a solo artist for quite a while now. The only trouble that he fans find with her is that she is not that kind of performer who tends to release records steadily and often. It took them an eternity to wait up for long player titled Leave Your Sleep. The singer slaved for six long years to make these twenty tracks see the light of days. Sure, a large-scale project like this one should demand commitment of many more than one person. The summoning of those who helped Natalie included jazzman Wynton Marsalis, bands The Fairfield Four, and The Memphis Boys, and even members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Various poetry on various music

In most cases, when there is a big album to be released on more than one CD, you should expect a conceptual work. Otherwise, it may turn into an ordeal to listen to a huge collection of songs that have only one thing in common and that is being concealed by the same cover. True, Natalie Merchant’s new work is a pretty thorough overlook of the English-langue poetry whose samples were skillfully adjusted to music of most various kinds. Track number one is a children’s poem called Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience that, however, is targeted at a grown-up listener. That is because of the new format featuring vaguely sounding Celtic folk instrument. In the meantime, Breezer’s Ice Cream is a fine jazz piece performed by Merchant alongside Wynton Marsalis. There is a niche even for festal balalaikas here as they greet you in Dancing Bear. Natalie, in her own turn, shifts regularly her singing manner depending on the music accompaniment and lyrics. In Maggie And Milly And Molly And May, she whispers, while in Adventures Of Isobel her vocals borrow much from the country traditions. Finally, Crying, My Little One, mainly due to the singing again, becomes a classic lullaby.

A successful attempt

One hundred and five minutes, that is almost two hours, is how long Leave Your Sleep lasts. Lasts, not drags. You are not in danger of getting bored because instruments and vocals have a peculiar touch on each separate track. Country, reggae, lounge, folk. It seems that of all widespread music trends there are only rap and hard rock in their pure form that are not present on this album. Since the chosen poems belong to different poets of different epochs, why not make the music as various? The massive list of the guest musicians who worked in good faith for this record is already a confirmation of a high status that Natalie Merchant has earned so far. Cooperation with her is a tempting proposal that all of them accepted. New styles, genres or trends are made up once in a decade by geniuses who are extremely hard to find and raise. Natalie Merchant did not claim to be one of them. Instead, she followed the way many other performers walked before and take up composing her own material out of numerous fragments that constitute the rich legacy of the contemporary music. This attempt, that took her so much strength and time, is clearly successful.