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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie Masterpiece
As a long time Mary Chapin fan, I was very excited about this release and I'm pleased to say it doesn't disappoint. Mary is a great story teller and so her songs lend themselves well to this cinematic approach.

The lush orchestral arrangements of some of Mary's best loved ballads from her vast back catalogue are truly magical and breathe new life into familiar...
Published 7 months ago by douglas smith

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mary CC's change of style.
I've been a huge fan of Mary Chapin Carpenter for many years, buying her albums without listening to them beforehand, as I did with "Songs From The Movie". Maybe that will change, henceforth, as I find this offering a little disappointing. I'm not sure this totally orchestral style suits her voice and I certainly miss the excellent sound and musicianship of her...
Published 6 months ago by Mike Mills


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mary CC's change of style., 28 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
I've been a huge fan of Mary Chapin Carpenter for many years, buying her albums without listening to them beforehand, as I did with "Songs From The Movie". Maybe that will change, henceforth, as I find this offering a little disappointing. I'm not sure this totally orchestral style suits her voice and I certainly miss the excellent sound and musicianship of her usual band. I was also disappointed to find a number of the songs to be "covers" of songs from her earlier albums, much preferring the earlier versions, myself. I'm afraid I find this album a bit lifeless, almost maudlin. I hope this a one~off itch that has now been scratched and the next offering will be new songs in her previous style. I LOVE Mary Chapin Carpenter... but not this.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie Masterpiece, 20 Jan 2014
By 
douglas smith (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
As a long time Mary Chapin fan, I was very excited about this release and I'm pleased to say it doesn't disappoint. Mary is a great story teller and so her songs lend themselves well to this cinematic approach.

The lush orchestral arrangements of some of Mary's best loved ballads from her vast back catalogue are truly magical and breathe new life into familiar tracks such as ` Come On, Come One', `I am A Town' and `Between Here And Gone'. Whilst I personally found Joni Mitchell's `Travelogue' which treads a similar classically influenced path a bit hit or miss, this collection ranks alongside the excellent `Gold Dust' by Tori Amos and Nanci Griffith's `The Dust Bowl Symphony` from 1999. Both albums successfully transforming original recordings with strings, woodwind and horns but staying true to the melodies that made them so special in the first place.

My favourites here include the romantic `Mrs Hemingway' and uplifting`Ideas Are Like Stars' in all its choral splendour.

With so many songs to choose from my only gripe is that I wish the collection was slightly longer than 10 tracks but perhaps this bodes well for ` Songs From The Movie 2.` Fingers crossed.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Chapin Carpenter - A Widescreen Soundtrack from a Great Storyteller, 20 Jan 2014
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Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
The days when her label marketed Mary Chapin Carpenter as a country singer are a thing of the past. She is a multi faceted talent and a songwriter of real distinction. Her last album 2012's "Ashes and Roses" was a deeply moving account of her illness through a pulmonary embolism that "hit" (as is so often the case) at a time of other testing life episodes. In one sense this new album "Songs from the Movie" is a continuation of that album making her brand of pop, folk and country almost unclassifiable. But in this case "Songs" has the added dimension of being recorded at Air Studios in London with super arranger and conductor Vince Mendoza renown for his sterling work with Joni Mitchell and a host of other artists. The presence of an orchestra fits with Chapin Carpenter's music like a perfectly formed pair of your favourite old jeans. The song choices equally are a poignant snapshot of her career to date set out as a thematic overview.

As for the great "I am a town" it could come a with a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee and its safe to say she wouldn't lose a cent. It is wonderful. The vocal is beautifully controlled and Mendoza and his orchestra's swirl are luminous not least at 4.12 when they nail the song so completely you could hang a picture on it. Ditto on the brilliant "Ideas are like stars" from "Place in the World". There are dangers in orchestral approaches that the whole thing becomes overly ornate and drowns out the pure simplicity of some of the songs. The good news is that Mendoza's arrangements are tasteful and often exquisite. Similarly Mary Chapin Carpenter's delivery is never over stated yet always heartfelt. This is no more so than on the closer "Goodnight America" which even surpasses the lovely version on "Between here and gone". This reviewer can be a hardened old cynic but will readily admit to a rather large lump in the throat upon the songs conclusion. There are also further treats in store with the Parisian imagery of the sumptuous "Come on, Come on" and the emotive "Dreaming Road". In truth there is not a bad track in sight and while some may bemoan the absence of some more upbeat tracks this would be to completely miss the point of the albums purpose.

It was George Orwell who once stated that in Britain that "not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards'. Carpenter has never been tainted with such personal repression. Like Joni Mitchell she is singer who wears her heart on her sleeve, records her high and lows, triumphs and anguish and tells you what she is feeling. "Songs from the Movie" is a glorious career summation avoiding a simple "Best of" format and choosing songs that are also some of the best examples of her skill as a storyteller. This combined with one of the most pure contralto voices in the business and orchestration, which oozes class, makes "Song for the Movies" an irresistible treat.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
I'm sorry to say that I can't agree with the three five star reviews posted so far. Yes she is a great singer songwriter and yes the quality of the record is very good, but I don't see what these lush and very slow orchestrations add to the original recordings. I think the title says it all, this sounds like the incidental music from a film. The only exception I would make is for Goodnight America where I think the build up to the end does add a new note to a great song.
I first saw her in Birmingham in the early 90's and have bought all her CDs since then so I am a fan but I can't say this one will be played a lot by me. So, as I said above, disappointed, we've waited two years to get an orchestrated "best of album".
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2.0 out of 5 stars Country meets Classical. Nobody wins., 31 July 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
A failed experiment, largely due to the execution - dire orchestration - rather than the concept. It will win her no new fans, and discomfit her existing fans, like me.

Perhaps, though, I will make a mix tape (mix CD these days) of this song selection from the versions on her earlier CDs, as it is a good selection from that point of view, and listen to that instead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite tracks ..., 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
I was really looking forward to receiving this album, not least because Chapin Carpenter has compiled all my favourite tracks on one CD - how did she know ...? Anything Mary does is 5* to me and, on the whole, this album measures up to this rating. On an initial hearing, my impression is that "story telling" tracks (Mrs Hemingway, Only a Dream, are enhanced by the orchestral accompaniment but I have one or two reservations: Only A Town is great until the end, when it sounds more like an echo of Niagara Falls than the simple southern town where I spent several happy years, and my very favourite song of all time, Between Here and Gone, was more poignant in its original, simple interpretation. That said, this is an album I will treasure and play again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 10 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
The orchestral arrangements add to Mary's beautiful words and melodies. I love all her albums and this is one of the best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of movie soundtracks!, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
All joking aside, this CD is good listening; having been a 100% fan from day one & have all her CD's & DVD's. Mary Carpenter has one of the best female voices on the planet. If you like her style, then it's probably worth getting, as it's a very listenable album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prezzie, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
This was bought as a gift and was greatly liked by the recipient. Why do I need more words, I've said everything I want to say!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible- Buy it!, 1 April 2014
This review is from: Songs From The Movie (Audio CD)
MCC is an incredible, gifted singer songwriter and to hear some of her back catalogue reimagined with a full orchestra is simply amazing.
I have played this CD constantly particularly The Dreaming Road track which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Disappointing that others feel let down by this CD and that Mary Chapin should go back to her country roots. You can't pigeon hole her and she pushes the boundaries with her work refusing to be squashed into one musical genre.
Ultimately her lyrics and superior music are one of life's joys for me. She could sing the phone book and I'd be delighted.
Songs From the Movie? Brilliant.
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