Merchant warns an aspiring actress of Hollywood’s fickle nature on “San Andreas Fault” (“O promised land, O wicked ground, build a dream and tear it down”). On the touching “Beloved Wife,” a man mourns the death of his partner of 50 years. “Cowboy Romance” uses a slice-of-life tale to denounce one-night stands. A miracle child is gifted with love, patience and faith-all presented as virtues (“Wonder”). Listeners will also find several references to prayer.
“Seven Years” curses a betrayer, refusing to forgive. A glowing, grieving tribute to River Phoenix (“River”) glosses over the drug abuse that killed him.
This is Merchant’s first solo project. With very minor exceptions, it’s a good one. While she sings about sleepless nights, unrequited love and the pain of losing a spouse, she doesn’t wallow in despair.