Sunday, 10 March 2013
Albums for Life: 39: Mary Chapin Carpenter: Between Here and Gone
Here below is Tim from yesterday over on Cathedrals of Sound, followed by my response, placed under 'Comments'.
I'd probably have gone for the same track choices from this subdued but beautiful concoction but then I'm sure he knew that anyway...
Now Tim, once more, I'm peeling a root vegetable.
a: a carrot
b: a parsnip
c: a prefab sprout
#40 - MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER - Between Here & Gone (2004)
This is one of my favorite records of the last decade. Trev has mentioned MCC a couple of times on his blog. I've barely spoken to him about her work, but I've been secretly hoping he'd spotlight this beautiful album eventually 'coz there's no way my words can do it justice. For me it's her strongest release, a serious introspective record which compares with Gretchen Peters' best work, and mostly avoids her usual detours into uptempo Nashville twang. The title cut is absolutely stunning; 'In My Heaven' is well... heavenly. There's also the haunting 'Grand Central Station' one of the finest 9/11 tributes (along with SunKilMoon's 'Gentle Moon' & Miracle Mile's 'Falling Man').
Again, I can't decide which samples to post.
Every one is special, so here's a bunch...
Between Here & Gone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFvoPClJSDE
Grand Central Station: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl7vrDS8UQk
In My Heaven: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBMCFPQSeJY
Goodnight America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmSOhATmQL4
Shelter Of Storms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snx5AhMP6Jc
There is an intensity to MCC's work that can come over as overly earnest; on occasion it feels as though you're being straightened out by your favourite primary school teacher. She is seriously sincere. 'Mawkish' is a stone oft cast, unjustly, in her direction.
'The Calling' and 'Age of Miracles' are excellent (as are the early pleasures of 'Stones in the Road' and 'Come On, Come On') but I concur with Tim's choice of 'Between Here & Gone', a moving work of wonder that initially seems as unremarkable as its cover. It then proceeds to insinuate itself imperceptibly into the chambers of your heart and squeeze very gently until you can't help but fall heart over head for it's world weary tenderness.
Yeah, I'm just wondering how we know where we belong
Is it in the arc of the moon leaving shadows on the lawn?
In the path of fireflies and a single bird at dawn?
Singing in between here and gone
Mawkish my arse...