Mary Chapin Carpenter ‘The Things That We Are Made Of’ Album Review Roundup

May 2, 2016

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s new album is ‘The Things That We Are Made Of.’ It’s the 14th studio album from the multi-Grammy winning country music icon who rose to fame in the 1990s. Now the critics are weighing in and you can see a roundup of reviews right here.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter rose to fame with her 1987 debut album ‘Hometown Girl’ and was among a handful of country music superstars dominating the airwaves in the early 1990s with such hits as “I Feel Lucky,” “Passionate Kisses,” “The Hard Way” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” among others.

Now years later, in her latest album is generating quite a buzz. It was produced by famed hitmaker Nashville producer Dave Cobb who’s known for producing such Grammy winning and critically acclaimed albums as Jason Isbell’s ‘Something More Than Free’ as well as Chris Stapleton’s brilliant debut, ‘Traveller.’

In 11 new songs the now 58-year-old Carpenter is reflective, and unsparing in tackling the changes that one goes through in life.

She told Rolling Stone that the lead single and opening track, ‘Something Tamed Something Wild,’ sets the tone of the entire album, “That first song contains the most obvious themes, those being the importance of place, the power of memory, the transformative effect of loss in our lives, how it changes us, how it affects us.”

In an interview with Billboard, she said of the song, ‘The Middle Ages,’ “The song is a look back of a sort to understand how you got to where you are now. Sometimes, those answers don’t come quickly – they come over the long term. Then, sometimes they don’t come at all.”

Now the music critics are weighing in on her latest efforts and here’s a roundup of what they’re saying.

“….Carpenter has always been a master of setting imagistic, earthy, poetic lyrics to deceptively simple melodies that carry emotional meaning of their own. These smoky arrangements suit the new songs perfectly – earthy, with just enough shimmer to brighten the dusky mood……” — Blog Critics

“….Carpenter, then, has the space she needs to showcase the voice and lyrics that have sustained her since her commercial peak. Able as ever with melodies, she keeps her lines unfussy and repetitive to emphasize her words. She fills nearly every space she can with lyrics, delivered in a slow vibrato that flickers between breath and tone. The result can be overwrought at times, but most often Carpenter communicates clearly, with stirring straightforwardness that commands Cobb’s yielding production……” — NPR

“….It’s this perspective switch — the fine balance of the now and then, the hope and the lost cause — which propels The Things That We Are Made Of. Centred around Carpenter’s marvelling poetic prowess, at times reflects the calming control of Buffy Sainte-Marie, these hints of hope and optimism creep into the even most sombre moments (“Oh Rosetta”, “Deep Deep Down Heart” and heart-ripping closing title track) via both subtle compositional shifts and her own mildly exclaimed tone……” — Rolling Stone

Critics have had their say as the veteran artist continues to chart her course into the second decade of the 21st century. You can see Mary Chapin Carpenter’s ‘The Things That We Are Made Of’ album cover and video below.

Pictures: PR Photos

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