With Let It Rain
, Tracy Chapman has found an almost perfect platform for her potent voice. She and coproducer John Parish have opted for a muted approach where guitars and tambourines stir among simple, unadorned rhythms. The singer's once boldly strummed acoustic guitar is here replaced by a more constant tidal flow, with handclaps, gospel-tinged choruses, and an open-barreled bass drum marking time. Chapman even goes trip-hopping on "In the Dark," a strangely shadowy highpoint featuring her artfully quavering vocal melody. The jumpy interludes on "Hard Wired" and the chamber interlude of "Over in Love" (which is reminiscent of the gorgeous interstitial tunes on Hem
's debut) add color. This is an awesomely crafted folk-soul creation for seasoned fans and for those who love Beth Orton
and Norah Jones
. --Andrew Bartlett
Over the course of five albums, Tracy Chapman has sold 34 million albums worldwide, won four Grammy Awards and garnered tremendous acclaim from fans and critics arund the globe. Now Tracy returns with Let It Rain, an album blossoming with stories that matter, songs that ring true, and, of course, her remarkable, stirring voice.