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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carpenter's a square peg in the round hole of Nashville
Mary Chapin-Carpenter built her career largely on public radio airplay for her folky acoustic guitar-based songcraft. This album exploded her into the country mainstream, thanks to the huge hits "Passionate Kisses", "I Feel Lucky" and lesser hits "I Take my Chances" and "He Thinks He'll Keep Her". But while country radio may have loved her for awhile, it quickly forgot...
Published on May 18, 2005 by Greg Brady

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars the cd that brought her to the next level
I bought this in 1993 . A few of the songs had already been released as singles. And I pretty much liked everything she had done. But I hadn't bought anything by her. I was kind of waiting for her to come out with a Greatest Hits. But then when they released Passionate Kisses I bought this cd. That song is still my favorite song by here. And to me the highlight of...
Published 9 months ago by john thomas


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carpenter's a square peg in the round hole of Nashville, May 18, 2005
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
Mary Chapin-Carpenter built her career largely on public radio airplay for her folky acoustic guitar-based songcraft. This album exploded her into the country mainstream, thanks to the huge hits "Passionate Kisses", "I Feel Lucky" and lesser hits "I Take my Chances" and "He Thinks He'll Keep Her". But while country radio may have loved her for awhile, it quickly forgot about her and the reason why is between the hit tracks: Carpenter has more in common with classic country singers than with the current batch of forgettable pop-country heard on the radio these days.

Carpenter is all about songs: Writing the sentiments of an educated, mature woman who's not afraid to make political statements that buck Nashville's (i.e. she's a feminist and a bit to the left) conservatism. All but two of the songs here were written or co-written by her.

HIGHLIGHTS:

The hits deserved to be. Carpenter finds the catchy heart of Lucinda Williams' "Passionate Kisses" and makes it the mainstream smash it was always meant to be. "I Feel Lucky" and "I Take my Chances" both find Carpenter playing it sassy and devil-may-care. "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" reveals Carpenter's feminist streak, in the tale of a woman who leaves her uncaring husband after 15 years ("For 15 years she had a job and not one raise in pay/Now she's in the typing pool at minimum wage..") "The Bug" is the lost album track that should have been a hit. The blue-collar philosophy of life ("Sometimes you're the windshield/Sometimes you're the bug..") is terribly catchy and a nice retool of a Dire Straits album track. The album cuts are what make Carpenter stand a bit above the pack: "I Am a Town" is pure southern Americana ("I'm the last gas for an hour, if you're going 25, I am Texaco and tobacco, I am dust you leave behind"), the tender duet with Joe Diffie on "Not Too Much to Ask",and "Only a Dream"'s taste of the deep bonds of sisters and the hurt that comes when the older one leaves home ("I turned on the light and all that I saw/Was a bed and a desk and a couple of tacks/No sign of someone who expects to be back/It must've been one h*ll of a suitcase you packed")

LOWS:

"Walking Through Fire" and "Rhythm of the Blues" are rather mediocre in the end. They just don't stick with you that well.

BOTTOM LINE:

If you're a Shania or Faith Hill fan, you'll probably HATE this. If you enjoy singer-songwriters (even if you THINK you hate country), give this a listen. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised. If you're a diehard folkie, you'll probably find this "overproduced" (which seems to be code for "any song with more than just a voice and an acoustic guitar").

3 1/2 stars
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work from Chapin, July 24, 2000
By 
M. Anderson (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
At the time, this was her most versatile disc to date. It really moves away from the country feel of her previous two releases, and, at its heart, is folk-pop. Her unabashed feminist side shows on I Feel Lucky and He Thinks He'll Keep Her, up-tempo rockers. Her mid-tempo songs, like Walking Through Fire, I Take My Chances, and Passionate Kisses, have the same unapologetic bluntness - she's her own woman, and proud of it. Her voice also shines on delicate ballads like Come On, Come On, I Am A Town, and Only A Dream. She has a superb talent for painting vivid pictures: I see the empty room in Only A Dream, and I see her walking on the tracks in I Take My Chances. The only song out of place here is Not Too Much To Ask, a banal country ballad, but other than that one clunker, this disc is a delight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential MCC Album, December 20, 2007
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
This is the one Mary Chapin-Carpenter CD that everyone should have. There's not a weak song on it, nor any false sentiment; every word and chord rings true and beautiful. It appeals to everyone, not just women, and several of the songs are downright toughminded: "The Hard Way," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "Walking Through Fire," and "I Take My Chances." But Mary also sings funloving songs like "I Feel Lucky" and "The Bug," and tender ones like "Rhythm of the Blues" and the title track. Rounding out the album are the impossibly romantic "Not Too Much to Ask," Lucinda Williams' wonderful "Passionate Kisses," and the heartbreaking "Only a Dream." I can't say enough good things about this album. Just get it. You'll love it, too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MCC's fourth album is a Grand Slam, July 28, 1998
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
"Show a little inspiration/Show a little spark." With these words, Mary Chapin Carpenter starts the listener on a thrill ride that proves that she has both in abundance. The feel good beat of I Feel Lucky and Passionate Kisses intermingle with the soulful harmony of Rhythm Of The Blues and I Am A Town. The spunky He Thinks He'll Keep Her and I Take My Chances demonstrate the MCC take-no-prisoners attitude that fans have come to expect. She may have done it The Hard Way, but aren't we lucky she did it?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic album, April 25, 2005
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
Mary's music has always been hard to classify as, over her career, it has included elements of folk, pop, rock and country music. This album, recorded in 1992, appeared at a time when country was the dominant influence, but this is a long way from being a stereotypical country album. As such, it appeals to many fans who wouldn't normally listen to country music. With its strong-woman theme (especially on tracks such as He thinks he'll keep her), the album particularly appeals to women. Even as a man, I think that song is one of the highlights of the album - it reminds men not to take anything for granted where women are concerned (not that men should need reminding).

Perhaps the most famous song here is I feel like, a fun song in which Mary dreams about Dwight Yoakam and Lyle Lovett (two contemporary singers) fighting over her. It provides a lovely contrast from the normally serious songs that Mary is so good at. Another highlight is Passionate kisses, a song written and first recorded by Lucinda Williams. Mary's cover of the song was a huge country hit and helped to raise Lucinda's profile - remember that this was six years before Car wheels on a gravel road.

From the opening track (The hard way) to the closing title track, this album is packed full of outstanding songs including The bug (written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits), Not too much to ask (a tender ballad - this is a superb duet with Joe Diffie, an almost forgotten country singer) and Only a dream (one of many excellent songs that Mary wrote for the album.

This album remains the best of Mary's career. Look up the track listing for the compilation, Essential, for which half the tracks are lifted from this album. That is a great compliment to the quality of this album but it makes it hard for anybody to buy it if they've already bought Essential. That's a shame because every track here is brilliant.

Forget the Essential compilation - this is the place to begin a collection of Mary's music. If you also want a compilation, choose one that doesn't draw so heavily on this album, such as Party doll and other favorites.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE place to start, February 17, 2006
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
I am going to start this with what I always say is such a cliche: this woman writes my life! Chapin and I are of similar ages, and I just connect to her music so much. I believe this is the place for the casual listener to start with Chapin-it's the album that is the easiest to listen to (State of the Heart comes close)and one of the best to appreciate her original style and her best cover (Passionate Kisses).

The opening songs on this collection (The hard Way and He Thinks he'll Keep Her) reflect her upbringing and class. (How many people remember the Geritol ad the latter song's title was based on? I thought so, all you people who understant Chapin)

I have read that many people don't care for Rhythm of the Blues on this CD. I feel that song so much, it really talks to me. That, and Only a Dream, and I am a Town. The thing that makes me smile wistfully in I am a Town is that, while she is talking about "a town in Carolina", I am from Michigan and many small towns in Central Michigan fit the lyrics of this song.

AS I said, THE CD for the person who wants to start listening to MCC, but once you have heard it, you will want the rest. I own all her CD's.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant, compelling, and downright melodic, November 20, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
The antithesis of Muzak, Come On, Come On is a rocking, touching, absorbing CD that massages your heart and engages your mind while it sends you for the air guitar, moves your feet, and compels you to attempt harmonies. This is the essence of a fully realized work, a stunning synthesis of pithy writing, memorable tunes, and enhancing arrangements. Four years after I bought it, I continue to play it once a week for grounding (and to work on my own harmonies) and I've given copies to dear friends because Carpenter's eye is so sharp and her words so observant. If you've read this far, do yourself and a friend a favor. Buy it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Female Singer-Songwriter Working Today....., June 16, 1998
By 
Greg (New York City) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
Easily in my Top Ten CDs/Albums of all Time, "Come On Come On" is a slam dunk for MC squared on every track. Each song exudes brains, passion, drama, heartbreak and more. This CD will remain the cornerstone of Carpenter's career, perhaps for her entire career, for it was as if all the planets had aligned for this brilliant release. Carpenter looks directly into our hearts and helps us to remember, reflect and rejuvenate. Of so many classic cuts on this great CD, certainly the title track, at least for me, is perhaps one of the most evocative pieces of music ever written and performed. Buy this now.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without hesitation, add this to your collection., July 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
A friend of mine recently asked me to compile my list of the 10 greatest CDs of all time. I thought, "How in the world can I decide?" And then I thought, "simply list the 10 CDs that you play most frequently." MCC's "Come On Come On" quickly made the Top Ten. Sometimes one can't explain why. This is definitely a play-through-and-don't-skip-any-tracks CD. "Only a Dream" still haunts, even though I've heard it a million times. I like MCC because she isn't like any other.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent " Country ", May 2, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Come on Come on (Audio CD)
Ms. Chapin Carpenter is one of the best all round lyricists, composer, and singer out there.
Come On , Come On , is not Country as we used to know it , but rauther an all American blend of folk , of sass , of country , and the blues. Give her a listen ... and you will fall in love with that smoky alto.
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Come on Come on
Come on Come on by Mary Chapin Carpenter (Audio CD - 1992)
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