I recently had a disagreement with my brother over which of Ms. Chapman's albums was the best. I had been listening to her 'Matters of the Heart' album a lot, and felt this was a sensational effort. My brother, of course pointed out that generally 'Fast Car' is considered her finest. I thought this unlikely so set about listening to both to compare. It's true Fast Car has an edge and raw quality, with several extraordinary tracks, but contains some weaker numbers which detract from the whole. Nevertheless, I absolutely adore it - how could it be otherwise?
Matters of the Heart is curiosly overlooked by many of her critics. I cannot for the life of me understand why. Artists do not exist in a vacuum and must be allowed to grow. For me this is what this particular album represents. It's less of the angry adolescent raging against the world; rather a maturer, more considered voice of uncertainty, which offers meaningful observations, but few, if any, answers. It's better this way - who could stand to be indoctrinated from someone who claimed to have all the answers? - here we have a more uniformly high standard throughout each song, and a feeling that each song is very much getting under our skin, making us think that bit harder about life and ourselves. I, of course, have favourite tracks, but refuse to fall into that trap. Listen to the whole album several times over and see if you are not somehow changed by the experience.