Mary Chapin Carpenter

The Calling


When MCC hit the country-rock scene big time with “Down at the Twist and Shout” and the smash follow-up CD Come On, Come On, her observant lyrics analyzed the human heart with accuracy and a touch of wit. Since then, her songs have turned more toward the Big Questions, and in my opinion, lost some of the ability to capture the real moments of life and relationships. Surprisingly, the opposite is true on The Calling. The most interesting cuts are not about the heart, but about our country: “Houston” (Hurricane Katrina), “On with the Song” (the Dixie Chicks’ political troubles) and “Why Shouldn’t We” (on believing the nation can do better). The title track has some muscle, too. Maybe MCC’s turning a corner, from a musical Dear Abby to a lyrical editorial page columnist. We’ll see. 03/07 MJVD

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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