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Hearts in Mind

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Audio CD, February 1, 2005
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Simple Life 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Angels 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Heart Of Indochine 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beautiful 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Back When Ted Loved Sylvia 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Mountain Of Sorrow 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Old Hanoi 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Before 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Love This Town 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rise To The Occasion 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Love Conquers All 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Last Train Home 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Big Blue Ball Of War 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Our Very Own 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New Door Records
  • ASIN: B00074CBO2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


On her first studio album since 2001's Clock Without Hands, Nanci Griffith hearkens back to her best early albums, particularly the Jim Rooney-produced work of the '80s. Whereas her '90s music veered off into arch or uncomfortable pairings with lofty-minded producers and members of U2 and R.E.M., here she takes stock and strives for, as the title of the leadoff track says, a "Simple Life." Griffith was wise to assume the lead as her own producer (with Pat McInerney), scaling back to a more organic, folk-singer approach ("Last Train Home," a 2002 song which appears here, would have fit well on her first Philo albums) and reuniting with guest vocalists Mac McAnally ("Rise to the Occasion") and Jimmy Buffett ("I Love This Town"). While the material draws on a variety of influences, Hearts in Mind wraps its thoughts around two themes: Exploring the hopeful beauty of the romantic heart, and honoring soldiers and civilians lost in the wreckage of war ("Heart Of Indochine"; "Old Hanoi"; "Big Blue Ball of War"; and the exquisitely sad, Julie Gold-penned "Mountain of Sorrow," inspired by the events of 9/11). Throughout, Griffith stretches herself as an artist: "Beautiful," a tribute to her stepfather, marks a lively, clarinet-accented departure from her usual repertoire, while only her delivery lifts "When Ted Loved Sylvia," Le Ann Etheridge's intriguing take on the relationship between Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, above its lyrical shortcomings. The singer makes fine use of her lower register at times, and continues to push for a fuller voice than the feathery vocals that marred her freshman efforts. The end result is her most accessible album in years, one that deeply satisfies on both a musical and an emotional level. --Alanna Nash

Recommended Nanci Griffith Discography

The Last of the True Believers

Other Voices, Other Rooms

One Fair Summer Evening

Once in a Very Blue Moon

Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful)

The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Kori Frazier on February 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Throughout the nearly three decades of her career as a singer/songwriter, folk musician Nanci Griffith has been no stranger to love. With a true gift for capturing the profound ideas and experiences of human existence through the power of words, her songs vividly depict emotions of joy, grief, melancholy, and passion which are universal to all who listen. It is this creative capacity that has made Griffith's music a powerful force in the contemporary folk world, earning her a Grammy for her 1993 album Other Voices, Other Rooms, countless accolades for her eclectic style of music, and renown and respect throughout the world.

Having said this, it should come as no surprise that Hearts in Mind, Griffith's fifteenth studio album, is no exception to the rule. The follow up to 2001's Clock Without Hands and a recent live project, Winter Marquee, this latest collection of original songs is already being hailed by critics as not only her best studio recording in over a decade, but as one that combines the simple folk style of the early years of her career with the more modern style of her recent music. Despite this merging of the best of both worlds, however, another characteristic makes it one of the most unique recordings of Griffith's career: Hearts in Mind is a concept album dealing with the conflicting forces of love and war, with the unbreakable connection forged between two human beings overcoming even the most insurmountable obstacles.

Indeed, Hearts in Mind is in many ways a journey toward satisfaction in love and life. The album kicks off with "Simple Life," a track fused with steel guitars, mandolins, and a traditional country sound that captures its message of seeking minimalism and meaning.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sally on February 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I think the album is fantastic. I think Simple Life, Beautiful, Before, Heart of Indochine, Old Hanoi, Big Blue Ball of War, Rise to the Occasion, and Our Very Own rank right up there with the best stuff she's ever done. I'm not so fond of Mountain of Sorrow and am indifferent to Angels, but then she didn't write them. And the rest is pretty darn good. I like the fact that each song has it's own sound and, as usual, the lyrics are like good literature. In "Heart of Indochine," I can see her sitting in the cafe with her "friend Bobby Mullen." It brings tears to my eyes when she wonders if "he walks in his dreams."

As to repeating old themes, I don't think that we can be reminded too often that war brings nothing but misery, and often isn't necessary and solves nothing. And surely, we cannot hear too often how restorative and uplifting love can be.

As far as all of Nanci's best work being behind her, I couldn't disagree more. I absolutely did not like "Other Voices Too" and could even say I HATED most of "Blue Roses from the Moon." However, I think "Winter Marquee" and "Clock Without Hands" are phenomenal albums. I play both all of the time. To me, along with "Flyer" and "Other Voices Other Rooms," they are desert island discs.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avid Runner on April 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After several years of tinkering with the style of music that put her on the map (with usually decent, but mixed results) Nanci Griffith returns with her best album of mostly original material in more than 15 years. Yes, this album is her best of original material since "Little Lover Affairs" back in 1988.

Kicking off with the song "Simple Life," co-written and sung with up and comer Elizabeth Cook," the album finds Nancy touching on many of the same themes that she has explored over the years. Her interest in Vietnam continues with "The Heart of Indochine" and "Old Hanoi". Long term Nanci fans will delight in the literally reference that later song makes to the great writer Graham Greene as well as to the Sylvia Plath inspired "Back When Ted Loved Sylvia."

Wonderful produced by Griffith and pat McInerney HEARTS IN MIND has a host of guest artists including Jennifer Kimball, Jimmy Buffett, Clive Gregson, Mac McAnally and the aforementioned Elizabeth Cook. That a gorgeous jazz flavored track like the appropriately titled "Beautiful" can find a home on this album without seeming out of place rings as a real testament to the fact that Nanci's muse is well on target.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Troiano on February 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Nanci Griffith keeps evolving in her music. You never know what to expect and that is what makes her interesting. There is some marvelous music and poetry in Hearts and Minds. The songs Indochine and Old Hanoi are moving and lovely. Then she rocks in songs like I Love This Town. The songs are about love and war and no one tells a story better than this Texas singer- songwriter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Cowan on March 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have all of Nanci Griffith's CD's and this one was just a little too slow for me. The tracks were mostly very mellow and retrospective, and I miss Nanci's energy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Nanci Griffith walks a find line on her politically oriented "Hearts in Mind." She is, like so many entertainers, struck by the events of and since 9/11, and she intertwines her songs about "every soldier and every civilian lost to the horrors of war" (the album's dedication) with songs about the joy of ongoing life. Instead of throwing the gauntlet of Iraq center stage, she colors with the memories of Viet Nam. It gets the point across during "Heart Of Indochine" in a subtle manner. As does the CD opener, "Simple Life."

"I don't want your wars to take my children,

I want a simple life while I am here."

Julie Gold's "Mountain of Sorrow" is just as remarkably subtle, as Gold reflects on waking up in New York City September 11th, 2001 to knocking at her door of a grief stricken neighbor. "Easy come, easy go...anything but easy, though." Griffith delivers the line as she once did for Gold's call for peace, "From A Distance." (Funny how it's another song for peace written under another Bush Gulf conflict.)

"Hearts in Mind" is balanced by several songs dealing with family and pride. "Beautiful" is Nanci's tribute to her grandfather and finds her indulging in some jazzy singing. Jimmy Buffet chimes in on the silly "I Love This Town" (why wasn't this a hit?) to add some levity, and old friend Mac MacAnally joins Nanci on "Rise To The Occasion." Both the serious and the cheery roll off the CD at an easy pace. If you are a fan of Nanci's or the likes of Patty Griffin, Casey Chambers of The Dixie Chicks, you'll find a lot to enjoy with Nanci's "Hearts In Mind."
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