Friday, March 11th, 2016

Mary Chapin Carpenter – Something Tamed Something Wild

Suggested title: “Something Tame.”


Anthony Easton: This is trapped in amber, trying to be deep and sliding through a set of cliched sentiments, without even committing to the melodramatic sentimentality that would at least be more interesting. 

Alfred Soto: Miranda Lambert’s similar “The House That Built Me” has sharper singing and writing; Carpenter glides past the rote shoebox-filled-with-memories stuff as if it embarrassed her too. I’ll admit to not following her career since the days of “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” but the NPR-beloved folk route down which aging country stars, male and female, travel isn’t my favorite anyway.

Cassy Gress: I always assumed she sounded like Melissa Etheridge and Indigo Girls, and this highly absorptive song tells me I was pretty much right.  But the best parts are the soft guitar and meta-storytelling, not the bridge with the too-loud guitar solo and cheap-sounding synth strings.

Ramzi Awn: This isn’t Paul Simon? Perfectly good porch music for line-drying clothes.   

Patrick St. Michel: Too close to a motivational poster, but the message it does get across is sweet and the music adds nice dramatic flair to this here’s-where-I’m-at-now journey.

Jonathan Bogart: Aging is even more particular than youth; no two people experience it the same way. But youth can be forgiven for believing otherwise.

Brad Shoup: If I wanted to hear an Americana song in stasis, I’d have dug out my Vigilantes of Love compilation.

Katherine St Asaph: The musical equivalent of warm oatmeal, unsweetened: wholesome, smooth but grainy, comforting or bland depending upon taste.

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