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Ashes & Roses


Price: £9.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Mary Chapin Carpenter Store

Music

Image of album by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Photos

Image of Mary Chapin Carpenter

Videos

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Age of Miracles

Biography

Mary Chapin Carpenter has always chosen her own path. From her first gigs as a rising star on Washington D.C.’s folk scene in the early 1980s, she has made a reputation as both a singer and songwriter with a mind of her own. Over the course of an 11-album recording career, Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards and sold over 13 million records.She has scored 12 top 10 singles, including ... Read more in Amazon's Mary Chapin Carpenter Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Ashes & Roses + The Age Of Miracles + Between Here & Gone
Price For All Three: £28.61

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 July 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B007W1449I
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Transcendental Reunion 4:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. What To Keep And What To Throw Away 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Swords We Carried 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Another Home 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Chasing What's Already Gone 4:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Learning The World 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. I Tried Going West 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Don't Need Much To Be Happy 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Soul Companion 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Old Love 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. New Years Day 4:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Fading Away 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Jericho 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

“Ashes and Roses is a record about grief and loss, but it has an arc. It does go from night into day. I feel like it travels through some of the hardest, most difficult territory to a place of renewal. It speaks to that journey as it tries to describe what is seen and felt and experienced along the way. And one does get to the other side. I’m not entirely convinced that I’m through it all, but I am walking and talking and moving on with my life.”--Mary Chapin Carpenter

BBC Review

Country/folk icon and multiple Grammy-winner Mary Chapin Carpenter describes her latest album as “about grief and loss”. In recent years she’s experienced divorce, serious illness and the death of her father, the accumulative trauma of which hurled her into depression.

A hard-hearted person might observe that the accompanying biography reads like a parody of country singers’ inspirations. But Ashes and Roses is certainly no summer breeze.

There’s a hint of respite from the gloom when James Taylor duets on the easy-flowing Soul Companion, but as his and Carpenter’s voices sound so similar, it’s barely a contrast. So this subdued album – more acoustic than her break-out hits – focuses on confessional lyrics and humble, understated vocals.

Recorded in Nashville, Ashes and Roses is produced by Carpenter’s regular collaborator Matt Rollings. On closer Jericho, just her voice and Rollings’ piano are present, as if all elaboration is now deemed superfluous and only the tattered scraps of residual emotion resonate for her.

Theoretically there’s an arc, a journey of healing, and songs like New Year’s Day and Fading Away offer glimmers of optimism, albeit the kind that quote Emily Dickinson. Any epiphany or upswing, however, is relative. From Transcendental Reunion – which eulogises, oddly, the restorative powers of a flight into Heathrow – the tone is set.

What to Keep And What to Throw Away is a candid meditation on her decision to “burn all the letters, delete all the photos” so that nothing reminds her of her ex. The Swords We Carried is another brutal analysis of the aftermath of love. Elsewhere, there are studies of mourning, nostalgia for childhood and the quest for a place to call home.

Like Cowboy Junkies, Carpenter believes that the quieter she sings the clearer her angst will get across. But whereas that Canadian outfit value leavening humour, she places faith in unremitting earnestness. It’s often affecting, and draws you in at times, but somewhat smothering in its unrelenting glumness. There’s also a paucity of fresh melodies here.

This profoundly personal album is unlikely to woo passers-by, but loyal, long-time admirers will adore it.

--Chris Parkin

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffers on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I find this new album by Mary Chapin Carpenter very moving, beautiful and poignant. it is a wonderfully crafted and produced album from a great song-writer. I had not really listened to Mary's songs before even though she had been recommended to me by others in the past. I tended to shy away from what I thought was 'country' music. However the title of Mary's album and my own personal life at this time seem to have searched each other out; hence a most wonderful discovery. I wholly recommend this album to all who like good, reflective song-writing, accoustically produced, written from the heart and soul of a lady with a beautiful voice. Ashes and Roses is my album of 2012.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Angel Delta TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2012
Format: Audio CD
Like her near contemporary Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter writes highly literate songs that are odes to introspection, confession, catharsis and loss. In 2007 she suffered a pulmonary embolism, her father died and she went through a divorce. The album seems to be a reflection upon those troubled times.

It is a gentle, mainly acoustic, work and she uses the voice and phrasing of a folk singer to explore the darker corners of the soul. As she explains in "The Swords We Carried"

"And grief became my company, pain so deep I could not breathe,
All betrayal is like dying in slow motion".

In "Chasing What's Already Gone" her father appears in a dream to tell her "You're gonna be alright", but she felt as empty as she'd ever been:

"Ashes and roses and hearts that break
I tried so hard to be strong
But maybe my worries were not my first mistake
I'm chasing what's already gone".

The lyrics are illuminated by a magical arrangement of Hammond B3, mandolin, acoustic guitars and piano. But as well as the lyrical content this is also an album of exquisite melodies and deliberately understated arrangements. A simple piano accompaniment on "Jericho" from producer Sonny Rollings is perfect as she confides:

"And you can't hear me yet, listening takes a long, long time,
And I've so much to tell, but words die on these lips of mine".

Lyrics, melody and musicianship combine beautifully in "I Tried Going West":

"A letter a day I wrote back to you
But not one you ever received
'cause I can't stand the man that lies like you do
And I can't bear a woman who bleeds".
Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By douglas smith on 2 July 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have loved all of Mary's most recent albums from `Between Here And Gone' through to 2010's `Age Of Miracles' and this latest release doesn't disappoint. The album comprises mainly gentle, acoustic ballads which showcase perfectly Mary's talents as a singer and storyteller. I have to admit this one took a little longer than its predecessors to get under my skin but after several listens the melodies and lyrics really do shine through.

It's hard to pick a favourite track but the combination of Mary and James Taylor on `Soul Companion' is definitely a highlight along with the more upbeat opener 'Transcendal Reunion'.

Tasteful music, tastefully packaged for the discerning listener.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LPpsb on 10 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD
It seems that when Mary Chapin Carpenter releases an album these days, many reviews say "her best days are behind her" or it is "nowhere near as good a "Come On Come On". For me, it is the exact opposite. Mary has matured, like a fine wine, and some of her aficionados have travelled the road with her. I have been listening to her songs for nearly twenty-five years of my life now. She no longer writes or records "I Feel Lucky" or "Shut Up And Kiss Me" country rock romps. Her songs are now moving, mournful, mature and often melancholic. She currently writes as a fifty-something so there is a fair chance that is the group she will appeal to. So many artists now in their fifties, sixties or even seventies find their music compared unfavourably to the work they released in their twenties and certainly in Mary Chapin Carpenter's case, it is a shame, because this album is possibly her masterpiece. If anyone has ever had to empty the house of a deceased parent, then "What To Keep And What To Throw Away" will resonate, heartbreakingly.

She covers a variety of subjects though - it is not all death, illness and loss. There is air travel and New Year's Eve. They are all approached with a deep sensitivity and thoughtfulness rare in many songwriters. Mary Chapin Carpenter really is one of the best there has ever been. Unfortunately she will never be fully recognised as so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve W on 8 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this having read a review in a daily newspaper. Previously I had not heard of Mary. She has a wonderful melodious voice and her lyrics are, at times, very moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzi on 13 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bought this after hearing some of the tracks on the radio. Great CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dear Darling Dickie on 13 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the album - for me - where Mary feels back on top of her form and supremely confident of her own talents, without ever sounding smug or self-satisfied. She knows better than to do that. In a way it's a one-idea album - you can't change your past, don't beat yourself up about it, but you can't prevent memories resurfacing - but all the songs are deep, genuine and heartfelt. I hear she's doing an album and tour with an orchestra. That may be because she feels she's taken her small, intimate band sound as far as she can, at least for a while and that may be true cos she's certainly put the band to best use here. Mary's disarming contralto voice has got deeper with age, but she sure does it for me! A huge talent who got better - and sexier - with the passage of time.
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