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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2004
I suggest that people who appreciate Chapin's art look for several things in the very best of its expression. First there's a lyricism that finds her using words economically but with great affect. Second there's an ear for great melody. Third there is the voice that John Jennings has described as 'an invitation to intimacy' and finally this is all informed by a deep appreciation of human dignity expressed in a way that universalises it for the listener. These qualities have never been better expressed than in the one true masterpiece of this album, 'Grand Central Station'. I have been suspicious of songs alluding to the terrible events of 9/11 but this tale of a worker at Ground Zero banishes all that. It is wonderful, profoundly moving and beautifully realised. The same can be said for most of this album. It is easy to get carried away with praising the latest offering from any artist as a new record needs to find its place in the overall body of work. But 'Beyond Here and Gone' is a beautiful record with the strongest set of songs since 'Come On Come On'. However, the feel of the album is more like 'State of Heart' with many of the songs having the same emotional clout as 'This Shirt' and 'Goodbye Again'. There are two songs here that are obviously influenced by Alice Sebold's 'The Lovely Bones', 'In my Heaven' and the title track with its line, 'Could I have felt the brush of a soul that's passing on'.The same song also has the beautiful lines, 'Yeah I'm just wondering how we know where we belong. Is it in the arc of the moon leaving shadows on the lawn. In the path of fireflies and a single bird at dawn. Singing in between here and gone.' This is Chapin at her very best as is 'Goodnight America'; another classic. One could mention many other great lines, which illustrate the brilliance of her writing. Some reviews have mistaken the great production of this album, thanks particularly to Matt Rollings, for undemanding blandness. This, I think, completely misses the mark. Sure the playing is great, especially the strings and Rolling's piano. But this is an album that requires listening to. It's a deep and moving album that deserves the highest praise and attention.
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2004
After 10 albums notching up worldwide sales of 12million, Mary ChapinCarpenter proves that she is still capable of delivering.
Between Here And Gone is very different from Time*Sex*Love, her laststudio album recorded in London in 2001. Teaming up with Matt Rollings asco-producer seems to be the perfect combination to showcase Mary Chapinsformidable talents. Proving his worth on her previous albums such as theaward winning 'Stones In The Road' and the showcase 'Come On Come On',this album clearly benefits from their combined skills.
In a change from Time*sex*Love, this album (her first recorded inNashville) moves fiddles and guitars into leading roles. The first 6tracks are quiet and thoughtful explorations of life with 'My Heaven'combining Mary Chapins beautiful voice with a sound that washes over youto score maximum goose pimple effect. The pace picks up for 'BeautifulRacket' but the sentiment is still bitter sweet and one most of us willrecognise.
With all the tracks on this album written by Mary Chapin, her opportunityfor making a strong musical statement is clear and she does not pass on it- 'Grand Central Station' for example was inspired by her emotionssurrounding 9/11 and is a very moving piece of work.
This is a stunning album, give your self some space at the end of the dayand sit down and listen to it on a good hi-fi or set of headphones and youwill be reminded why we invented music.
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on 17 August 2004
I think MCC's voice is beautiful and her lyrics quite ethereal. I've been hooked since first seeing her in concert a few years ago and haven't been disappointed since. It's taken until 'Between here and gone' to notice that her voice matches the instruments in a way that transcends mere harmony (listen to the way she sings when the slide guitar is going and you can see why the Indigo Girls got her in just to sing a total of 1 word in 'Hammer and Nail'). My wife on the other hand thinks she sings through her nose too much....can't please everyone I suppose.
Surprise surprise, she doesn't disappoint again. This qualifies as country for reasons best known to record classifiers but it's really folk with subtlety. It's a window on the world of North America and a darned good listen too. Of note is 'Grand Central Station', not just another 9/11 track - no politicising of the human cost a la Darryl Worley, this has heart and soul. My favourite track has to be 'Beautiful Racket' but it's just another gem in a bag of diamonds.
I'm just not eloquent enough to do justice to this album - is it any good? of course it is!
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on 19 November 2014
As a long term fan of Mary it is difficult to rate each CD accurately in relation to each other. This has some very strong tracks and as usual the words are important.
My favourite is Grand Central station, Luna's Gone is also very good. This CD does not really have weak track.
Recommended easy listening.
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on 21 February 2005
Recent albums of MCC have been patchy at best, always with a good track or two just to remind you what has been missing. This collection is the best since 'Stones In the Road' though. It is varied musically and stylistically but the songwriting never wavers from the highest standards. Richly sung, emotionally complex and beautifully produced.
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on 15 June 2004
Between Here and Gone is one recording that you should own - but probably won't. It will sadly go ignored by mainstream music listeners, but please, please prove me wrong and don't let that happen.
Mary Chapin Carpenter has matured with angelic grace. The quirky country riffs from the "Come On Come On" era have long since gone. 'New' country acts are only now following where Mary Chapin was at all those years ago.
The soul Between Here and Gone is searching for ways to escape the disillusionment of a lost America and a world so embroiled with hatred and want - trying to move onto that better place a million miles away from the so-called "Promised Land" and finding true paradise. The song called, "Grand Central Station" is the most poignant remembrance to the departed of New York City that I have heard a musician deliver. There is also a moving and very fitting reuniting with Eva Cassidy.
I'm a young guy and my music collection is typically rock music - but this is really something different. There are no fillers on this recording. Every song will become special in its own way. The lyrics are amongst the most beautiful and most meaningful that will be written. Every line that this true artist sings will take you to a place of the deepest emotion and undoubtedly bring tears to your eyes. I can't compare Between Here and Gone to anything that I've heard before. If an angel came down to deliver us only one message, I believe that it would sound something like this.
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on 13 May 2004
I suggest that people who appreciate Chapin's art look for several things in the very best of its expression. First there's a lyricism that finds her using words economically but with great affect. Secondly there's an ear for great melody. Thirdly there is the voice that John Jennings has described as 'an invitation to intimacy' and finally this is all informed by a kind of universal appreciation of human dignity. These qualities have never been better expressed than in the one true masterpiece of this album, 'Great Central Station'. I have been suspicious of songs alluding to the terrible events of 9/11. But this song banishes all that. It is wonderful, profoundly moving and beautifully realised. The same can be said for most of this album. It is easy to get carried away with praising the latest album as all art needs to find its place in the overall output of any artist. But 'Beyond Here and Gone' is a beautiful record with, in my opinion, the strongest set of songs since 'Come on Come On'. However, the feel of the album is more like 'State of the Heart' but with more outstanding songs. There are two that are obviously influenced by Alice Sebold's 'The Lovely Bones'; 'In My Heaven' and the title track with its line ' Could I have felt the brush of a soul that's passing on'. The same song also has the beautiful lines, 'Yeah I'm just wondering how we know where we belong. Is it in the arc of the moon leaving shadows on the lawn. In the path of fireflies and a single bird at dawn. Singing in between here and gone.' This is Chapin at her very best as is 'Goodbye America'; another classic. One could mention many other great lines, which illustrate the brilliance of her writing. Some reviews have mistaken the great production of this album, thanks particularly to Matt Rollings, for undemanding blandness. This, I think, completely misses the mark. Sure the playing is great, especially the strings and Rolling's piano. But this is an album that really requires listening to. It's deep and moving album that deserves the highest attention and praise.
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on 13 November 2013
Saw Mary Chapin Carpenter on TV recently, I really liked her contributions to Transatlantic Sessions. Bought this on the strength of that. I am not disappointed. There are some exceptional lyrics on this album.
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on 12 August 2012
Whilst this does not rank with the very best of Mary Chapin Carpenter's work, it nevertheless has her signature warm voice and heartfelt lyricism throughout. As is typical of her work, there is a range of styles from the rockier feel of its opening numbers to the more reflective, ballad like songs she is so good at. The title track is great, but for me the songs that really stand out on this album are Elysium and Grand Central Station. This album will certainly not disappoint and is one you'll want to listen to many times. But for me it doesn't quite rank with Stones in the Road or Time * Sex * Love.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2007
I liked 'Stones in the Road' so much that I wanted another MCC album. Having read various Amazon reviews, I went for this one. As yet I don't like it so much, but 'Stones in the Road' grew in me, so perhaps this will too. All of the songs taken individually are beautifully crafted, produced and performed. My one complaint is that, as a collection, they lack balance. Reflective is OK, but when reflective is overdone it tends towards melancholy. This CD could definitely have benefitted from one or two more upbeat songs, and perhaps one or two of the quieter ones could have been reserved for another time.

The album begins with MCC on top form with 'What Would You Say To Me', proof if proof were needed that she is capable of bouncy, catchy compositions. Then it descends into an orgy of navel-gazing. I must repeat that each of these songs is good. 'Grand Central Station' in particular may come to be considered one of MCC's masterpieces, and I also liked 'Girls Like Me', which reminds me (perhaps a little too much) of Janis Ian's 'At Seventeen'. So for the moment I still prefer 'Stones in the Road', but perhaps 'Between Here And Gone' will grow on me too, and I'll come to like it as much.
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