This album was released very early in 2014 and has stayed with me throughout the year. Mary Chapin Carpenter has been an award winning songwriter and artist for many years and has produced many excellent albums since her debut Hometown Girl in 1987.
When I heard she was going to release an album of her songs with an orchestral treatment, my first thought was 'would it work'. Joni Mitchell has successfully released such albums but did Mary have the emotion, songs and voice to be able to make her own statement as Joni did with her albums. The answer is a resounding Yes.
Here Mary discusses how she approached the project.
Backed by a 63 piece orchestra and a choir, Mary has matched Joni for beauty, intensity, emotion and delicacy. She may not have the seductive voice of Joni but I honestly think she could not have done any better with the material or the treatments of the songs.
pic courtesy of Billboard
Mary's style has been to produce songs of Country, pop, rock and ballads and she is a Grammy Award winning artist. She has handpicked a selection of songs from the breadth of her career in this orchestral format.
photo courtesy of haysport.com
Many of Mary's songs are based on storytelling and the orchestral treatments of the music add a certain gravitas and depth to the songs.
photo courtesy of thebluegrasssituation.com
This is one of those albums where I don't want to say too much. I just want to let you discover the music for yourself. If it encourages you to go and investigate the music of Mary Chapin Carpenter then I have done my job.
Mary has performed throughout the year all over the world in support of the album with an orchestra in the various destinations.
For me, the most moving moment of the album is the final track Goodnight America.