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4.1 out of 5 stars21
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2007
As a fan of MCC for many years, I follow with great interest her sharing as she moves through her life and follows her inescapable "calling" - described in the title song of this album.

In this latest instalment, I begin to get a feeling that she's preaching acceptance in some beautifully written verses - songs such as "We're All Right", "You're Life Story", "Here I Am".

There's also a feeling that "it" is never going to happen in the way you expect - "It Must Have Happened", and of regret "Leaving Song", "Closer and Closer Apart", "Here I Am" with more specific regrets in "Houston" an elegy for New Orleans and "One With The Song" a lament for the attitude that gave us the Iraq war but, at the same time an encouragement to "those who stand their ground".

Finally, there's some faint optimism in "On and On It Goes","Why Shouldn't We" and "Bright Morning Star".

Her songs are never less than beautifully crafted and all on this album are worth listening to over and over. The production (on a new label) is especially supportive of her moods but such introspective music can begin to sound alike. I must say that I miss the sense of mischievous fun and risk that was present on her early albums - you needn't lose that as you grow older - so buy this album she, and it, are head and shoulders above anything else around - and wait for the next instalment.
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Ms Chapin Carpenter's music is an elusive and deceptive creature.
On the face of it she has always been a singer/songwriter whose album
releases have an enduring, predictable and reassuring quality.
Somehow one always seems to come along just when you need it.

So here we have her ninth offering (not counting the 'Party Doll' and
'Essential' compilations) and the word 'Essential' does indeed
have meaning here.

Her warm, tonally sound, rock-solid mezzo and guitar carry these
thirteen fine songs with good grace, refinement and consistantly
convincing understatement.

Matt Rollings production and keyboards, Dean Parks and John Jennings
guitars, Glenn Worf's bass and Russell Kunkel's drums bring superlative
musicianship to every song; whether in workman-like, foursquare rocking mode
or in the lucid decoration of a delicate ballad.


'Twilight'; 'On And On It Goes'; 'Houston'; 'Leaving Song'; 'Here I Am';
all among her best.
'Bright Morning Star' and the heart-wrending 'Closer And Closer Apart'
two of her VERY best !

This is music which creeps up on you slowly.
Wraps around you like a warm blanket.
Holds, nurtures and enriches our experience like an old friend.

....and we all need a little of that in our lives Mary.
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on 26 March 2007
I too was slightly disappointed on first listening to this album: Between Here and Gone truly was a gem in her output, possibly the best album she has done ever. But my advice is to be patient and wait a while. For this is an album that grows on you, and for that reason may actually rank at least as highly as the previous one. The ballads are as strong as anything she has written before, and top marks for addressing the bigotry and idiocy that surrounded the Dixie Chicks for daring to express an unpopular opinion (anyone remember Lennon's bigger than Jesus comments? I thought we'd maybe grown up a bit, but no...). I have always enjoyed listening to Matt Rollins' exquisite piano playing and feel his producer's touch has really contributed to MCC's work. I look forward to the next one - but not to soon please, I haven't had enough of this one yet!
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on 13 January 2008
I held off from buying this album for quite some time as I had been disappointed by her later albums, which were beautifully crafted, but gloomy and lacking variety. I found that the music worked well in a concert situation but was ultimately unsatisfying and uninvolving on CD.

The previous album 'Between Here and Gone' seemed to signal some sort of revival, but I wasn't sure this would be continued so it was with some trepidation that I first listened to this latest album. I need not have worried - this album has more in common with some of her older releases, with an occasional strident edge to her voice in the louder songs. The first playthrough just blew me away - this is her best album for a long time. Only one minor hiccup: the intro to 'It Must Have Happened' sounds disconcertingly like 'Kissing With Confidence'! Buy this with confidence, she's back on form again.
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on 9 April 2007
On first hearing this album I thought it was just ok, but the more I play it the more adictive it becomes, I love every track. hope she tour the uk with this album this year.
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2008
Like a lot of the comments on here, I was a little underwhelmed by the this album after Between Here And Gone. Six months on though, I am smitten. This album stands on its own as a fine piece of work and has terrific emotional and musical range. It sounds wonderful to, with Matt Rollins piano playing perfectly complementing MCs vocals and composition. Quite simply a beautiful album that touches the heart.
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on 17 February 2010
To have got even CLOSE to her last album is something of a miracle as I honestly believe 'Between Here & Gone' is one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded (I have 1000+ CD's so I don't say that lightly !). So though this falls a little short of the profound & sublime masterpiece that was her last album it's still very good - & far better than most of the stuff on the market. So buy it & you want be dissapointed as long as you don't expect another masterpiece.
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on 26 December 2009
Unfortunately you can't always listen to samples on UK Amazon. So I always go on to to do that. I have this CD on the strength of those samples. It is very good. Forget the notion that somehow this or that CD, of any artist, is or is not, 'the best'. No-one can know for sure; it is simply personal taste.

MCC is a great singer-songwriter. I love her work. Yes, she does stray into politics briefly but it is not worth getting worked up about the odd comment about the US government - these things can be taken both ways depending on your point of view. MCC writes inspirational songs that are essentially full of human reflection and longing. The up-tempo numbers are a good counterweight to the more sorrowful ones. A lovely album: some tasty vocal hooks, a variety of beautifully played instrumentation and - above all - done with care and polish. Well worth it.
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on 30 January 2015
Great album packed with sensitive,clever and personal songs.
Worth buying just for "On with the song" and its strong message of freedom. Mary stood by the Dixie Chicks and their right to express an unpopular opinion,her words are so strong,heartfelt and clear to set the point straight that you can almost "see" her rage for the injustice.
Contemporary music needs more courage and we should start with Mary Chapin Carpenter's "the calling" to get it started.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2007
The first album of Mary Carpenter's that I've ever heard so I'm afraid I can't give anyone comparisons. Some reviewers seem to think she has lost something with this album but for us first timers - this is amazing.

I wouldn't classify this as country music but more adult contemp. It's on the easy listening side but with strong lyrics about the troubled times we live in, life in general and love.

Her voice is unique and nothing like the run of the mill pop singers we see created on tv. A very talented artist and a fantastic album. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of her stuff.
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