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Songs from Mary Chapin Carpenter
on 30 January 2015
From a young age, I was strangely attracted to rock music that incorporated string arrangements. It started with T-Rex's 'Cosmic dancer' - then Mick Ronson's stunning arrangements for Bowie and more recently Peter Gabriel's amazing orchestral interpretations of his songs on 'Scratch my Back' - but to name a few. So I feel incredibly fortunate that I had the radio on the right station at the right time as Mary Chapin Carpenter performed 'Songs from the Movie' live from Glasgow with orchestral accompaniment.
I'd be a liar if I said I was a full on Mary Chapin Carpenter fan, I'm not oblivious to her music, just didn't really get into it, as such. I know of her true style and I've heard snippets of various songs on numerous occasions - but for me, 'Songs from the Movie ' is an incredible introduction to her music and without disrespecting what she has done in the past, one can only wonder why it took her so long to follow this approach? Maybe she was inspired by Gabriel's classical transformation?
Going by certain reviews, there seems to be two groups. Those who prefer the old style of playing the songs and those who favour this new approach. I do like the old style but I love what she has done here. Mary's beautifully clear and calming vocals adds true substance to the dynamic orchestral arrangements and if you want to take it to new levels of devotion, just listen to the stunning 'I am a Town' and prepare to get emotional as Mary sings: "I am a town"..."I am a town"..."I am a town" - then swoon when her voice majestically deepens as she sings: "Southbound" - then feel yourself shiver as the hairs on the back of your neck truly stand on end. What more can I say?
One can only hope the powers that be will officially release a recording of the Glasgow concert as I've just recently had the pleasure of seeing Ms Chapin Carpenter perform similar at The Royal Albert Hall - a concert still vivid in my mind.
Quite simply, If you like music that moves you, then this beautiful selection will not disappoint.