On this new disc we are presented with 13 new Mary Chapin Carpenter songs, with the sound being augmented by a smart sharp band that is anchored by such stalwarts in the studio as Matt Rollings, Russ Kunkel, Dean Parks. They give her more than ample support and encouragement for her to release the songs to the public in the strongest possible way. This disc, as most of her others, is her special blend of folk, country and rock, with much leeway in the individual songs. Her songs have a literary feel to them. They are well written and tell the story intended in a straightforward and intelligent manner. They are not simplistic yet they are not convoluted stories that are open to interpretation; she speaks her mind in a straightforward way and is too intelligent to let her songs become mired in clichés.
Carpenter continues with her frank speaking of her mind, she does not shy away from controversy as she supports the Dixie Chicks, and dedicates a song, "On With The Song," to them and their desire to speak their minds on the handling of the war. It is perhaps her strongest stand on a political issue yet, and she shows her strong support for freedom of speech, and the right of all to speak their minds and have their own thoughts and opinions. (She does not call for favoring any political party just the rights guaranteed in the constitution).
Maybe the most touching song on the disc is Houston, about the plight of the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina and the ordeals they had to endure. There are also a couple of very touching love songs that veer into the politics of love and the potential pitfalls that being in an amorous relationship entails. It's one of those discs that you seem to grow into the more you listen to it.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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