21 Jun

Mary Chapin Carpenter Ashes and Roses

The new Mary Chapin Carpenter album came out last week and I’ve settled into its brilliance as with all her other albums. I have always gone to a record store on release day to get a real live copy, though I wonder how many more years that tradition will be able to continue, since apparently the new thing is that the next generation down from me has never ever bought an album on disc and they don’t like to pay for things. Whatever. I’m not a stick in the mud, and I’m fine with digital music (I consume a lot of it), but just because it’s not in a plastic jewel case doesn’t mean it should be free. End rant.

ANYWAY…the album is fantastic and while I enjoy a good pop song (CALL ME MAYBE. Yep, I did it)…this is a deep introspective record from (I am not making this up) one of America’s best singer-songwriters. As all of the album reviews and interviews will tell you, it’s not really a lighthearted romp, but I like stuff like that. The words are eloquent and the music is sublime. Just like Shawn Colvin’s new album, it’s kind of amazing to think of songwriters like these two who have had careers of 20+ years and have consistently delivered quality material. It’s a good lesson in standards and growth.

Some musicians don’t age into their thing well – think aforementioned the Call Me Maybe. I won’t call Carly Rae Jepsen down for the count, but all pop folks eventually lose the thing that makes pop music what it is…youth. Songwriters are luckier because, to be trite about it, that type of music and craft ages well like…like…sharp cheddar. It just gets sharper and more defined with age.

Now I want a cracker.

Buy this record.

1 Response to Ashes+Roses



June 30th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I’m holding out hope that the next generation’s lack of enthusiasm for pressed music might actually be a boon for brick and mortar independent record shops. No doubt Best Buy and Wal Mart will stop selling CDs someday soon. But there will always be Luddites like ourselves, and stores like Waterloo will probably benefit from a lack of big name competition. I’m pretty sure a record player is in my future — I hear vinyl has actually been enjoying a comeback in the current market.

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