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The Calling

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Audio CD, March 6, 2007
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Songs From The Movie


Songs From The Movie, with its compelling orchestral reinvention of classic Mary Chapin Carpenter compositions, is an artistic landmark for the beloved singer-songwriter. Collaborating with Composer/Arranger and Producer Vince Mendoza (Sting, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell) and working once again with Co-Producer Matt Rollings (Keith Urban, Lyle Lovett), Carpenter’s new ... Read more in Amazon's Mary Chapin Carpenter Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • ASIN: B000MNOXI0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Calling
2. We're All Right
3. Twilight
4. It Must Have Happened
5. On And On It Goes
6. Your Life Story
7. Houston
8. Leaving Song
9. On With The Song
10. Closer And Closer Apart
11. Here I Am
12. Why Shouldn't We
13. Bright Morning Star

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Calling is Mary Chapin Carpenter's Zo‰/Rounder Records debut and features 13 brand new songs. The album was recorded with keyboard virtuoso Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban) with whom Carpenter co-produced her critically-acclaimed previous CD Between & Here & Gone. The CD features all new original songs.

In recent years, Mary Chapin Carpenter--once among the most promising stars of the folkie infiltration of Nashville ("Down at the Twist and Shout," "I Feel Lucky")--abandoned all desire to dot the country music charts. Free of that ill-fitting yoke she returned to being what she really was all along: A literate acoustic singer-songwriter. In 2004, she released a tour de force, Between Here and Gone, which combined affecting social commentary on the events of 9/11 with personal meditations on her changed life as a married woman living in rural Virginia. The Calling picks up where that album left off, using the same co-producer, pianist Matt Rollings, and core musicians, including John Jennings, who helped Carpenter shape her sonic landscape some 20 years ago. If the new album goes farther in advocating a political conscience--"On with the Song" takes jabs at the jingoistic rubes who dissed the Dixie Chicks, while "Why Shouldn't We" insists we'll have worthy heroes in office again one day--it largely invokes the same quiet, warm, and conversational tone as its predecessor. On the whisper-soft "Twilight," which frames a perfect, peaceful evening with a nearly spiritual grace, a listener might easily imagine himself chatting with the artist about long-held secrets and shared experiences, the Blue Ridge Mountains looming in the background. That is part of Carpenter’s gift--connecting with her audience's shadow self, using her deeply nuanced alto to fill even the simplest words with profound knowing. As a pure craftsman, however, she ranks with the giants of past generations in capturing the small, bruised hearts seemingly lost in the chaos of a catastrophic event. "Houston," one such song here, recalls Woody Guthrie's great "Deportee" in its power and the pathos of the Hurricane Katrina victims who were forced to evacuate their homes, leaving everything behind but fear and hope. "Mama's got her baby/Sleeping in a grocery cart," it begins, at once setting up a picture of wrenching desperation. Carpenter, no stranger to blue moods herself, knows how tough it is to emerge from a dark period of pained restlessness to find one's very self again. The album's soothing closer, "Bright Morning Star," like much of the record as a whole, offers a beacon of light and safe harbor for those shipwrecked on life's rocky shores. --Alanna Nash

Customer Reviews

This is one of MCC's best CDs.
D. Garvey
I can't wait to discover which one or two songs become this week's favorite, and next week's, and the week after... Because On and On It Goes on to my car CD player.
Bonnie Neubauer
Great song choices and great music.
Upstairs Dot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Alan Dorfman VINE VOICE on March 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Mary-Chapin Carpenter has always been a troubador in Nashville's clothing but there's no more chart room for her in Country Music now that they're looking for prefabricated pop stars with a twang. Their loss.

Freed from Nashville's constraints Mary-Chapin delivers possibly her best album ever. Eloquent, elegant and elegaic, she is a master of simplifying the most complicated truths and singing them in a melodious, sparse, straightforward manner.

Here she writes politically ("I'm the decider, like some kind of Messiah") on the brilliant "On With The Song" and a song about Hurricane Katrina refugees "Houston", as well as tenderly on "Closer And Closer Apart" about a disintegrating relationship and about just the opposite on "Here I Am." Other fantastic songs are the rocking "It Must Have Happened," "Twilight," "Why Shouldn't We," and the wonderful "Your Life Story" which asks the question "maybe love is all anybody should believe in?"

Something you can believe in is "The Calling" is an exquisite CD that is a must have for anyone who believes in clearheaded, intelligent songs lovingly delivered. Extra points for both the production and engineering which are pristine and flawless.

When you get The Calling - answer. Greatness awaits you.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jim Newsom on March 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Like Paul Simon, Mary Chapin Carpenter is not a particularly prolific songwriter. She crafts her songs with care, honing and perfecting them before she shares them with the listening public. But like Simon in his prime, when she does decide the songs are ready and releases an album of new material, the result is usually outstanding.

With The Calling, MCC leaves the major label world where she stood out for her literacy and honesty, and enters the land of the independents, recording for Zoe Records, an imprint of the folk-oriented Rounder family of labels. That being the case, one might expect an all-acoustic outing along the lines of her first record, 1987's Hometown Girl.

Surprise! While the opening title track begins with a Springsteen "Thunder Road" piano opening, it develops into an electric guitar driven modern country ballad. Except that the lyrics are much more intelligent than anything you're likely to hear on Eagle 97. When big-bam-boom drums kick off "We're All Right," you know Mary Chapin's been plugging in her Rickenbacker out in the rolling hills of central Virginia when the songwriting urge appears. This one is an ought-to-be hit single waiting for some open-eared radio programmer to risk expanding his playlist.

I'm guessing it won't be a country music one, though.
Read more ›
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Parkin on March 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mary Chapin is one of my favorite artists, and her Between Here And Gone is a very good CD. But it really didn't show all her sides, as it was quite ballad-oriented. On The Calling, she rocks out harder than ever while retaining her talent for painting portraits of the human condition and producing beautiful, folky melodies. Check out the amazing slide guitar on "We're All Right." "Houston" is a deep and heart wrenching look at the plight of Katrina evacuees. The only slight faults are "It Must Have Happened" and "Your Life Story" having similar (but strong, especially on "Your Life Story") riffs, and there aren't any fun songs like "Shut Up And Kiss Me." Republicans might want to skip "On With The Song," but it is nice that she did a song in support of the Dixie Chicks. I fully expect this CD to be on my best of 2007 list!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Satisfied Lone Wolf on March 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This happens every time MCC releases a cd. I listen to it and think that I do not like it. Then I put it in my car cd and listen to it again to and from work, and my opinion starts to change. By the time I get home from work the second trip, the songs are stuck to me like glue. I cannot get the beauty of Twilight out of my head, and I keep singing "Your Life Story" each day to myself at the candy machine. "Bright Morning Star" is such a hopeful song. " Houston" is my favorite in the bunch and to me there is not one miss. They are all gems with the exception of "Why Couldn't We" a sort of liberal anthem that just falls flat.
Carpenter continues to grow as an artist, a poet, a dreamer and a songsmith who is not content to have top 10 country hits, but uses her profound imagery to weave and tangle us all in a beautiful collection of songs from the heart. Some personal and others more political in nature, this is probably MCC's best cd to emerge. Unfortunately, due to health issues, MCC will not get to tour with this album, but we will have to wait until 2008 to see those songs delivered live.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karla McSweeney on March 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
With so many of the great singer/songwriters no longer recording on the larger labels that get good promotion and advertising, it is a constant seek and find labor or love to find the many treasures that are out here. I just got this new recording by Mary Chapin Carpenter, and I am grateful for the privilege of listening to her great art, insight and entertaining music once again. If you loved "Stones In The Road" like I did, I hope you DON'T MISS THIS ONE!"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
One of the best folk-country albums that I have ever heard.
Couldn't agree with you more, Daniel.
May 20, 2007 by Kindred Spirits |  See all 2 posts
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