Mary Chapin Carpenter (from the album Sometimes Just the Sky)
In the hands of Mary Chapin Carpenter, songs are carefully crafted works of art;
fragile in the surface level emotions of her characters, strong in the inspirational resolve of her words. Giving back to the words and music that have traveled with her for over thirty years, Mary Chapin Carpenter reimagines songs from the past three decades on her recent release, Sometimes Just the Sky, selecting tracks from her studio releases to wear new sound skin. The album returns to first steps, the opening track, “Heroes and Heroines”, going back to her Hometown Girl debut (1987) as it borrows from her breakthough album Shooting Straight at the Stars for “The Moon and St. Christopher”, and tapping her 4x Platinum release Come One, Come On for “Rhythm of the Blues”.
The heart and soul offered to the honest feelings in the songs remain in line with the original recordings as the music finds new ways to support the tales with accents. A tenderness in the melody wraps around the love given to “This Shirt” while a troubadour questions “What Does It Mean to Travel”, quiet picking hears the confession in “I Have a Need for Solitude”, and a country ramble makes “Naked to the Eye” a front porch jam. Thirteen studio albums have collected the songs of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sometimes Just the Sky a reminder of the magic that pours from her pen. A subtle rhythmic pounding is the beat of “One Small Heart” as Sometimes Just the Sky continues the percussive rumble underneath “Superman” and a multitude of tiny puzzle pieces from daily life come together to make “This is Love”. Entering the studio with new views for past songs Mary Chapin Carpenter saved space for a new tune, giving her latest release a title as she closes out the album with “Sometimes Just the Sky”, its music rolling rhythms as decisions and adventures play across the giant screen of memory.
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