20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2002
This latest studio album by the quirky folkie who mixes comedy and beauty lacks a dead-on masterpiece like "Shopping Cart of Love" or "Planet X" or "The Kind of Love You Never Recover From" or "Yonder Blue", but none of its 12 tunes fail, either, and on many Lavin albums you'll find two or three "failures" among the glories. Christine stretches boundaries, and in her 20-year recording career she has certainly had more homeruns than strikeouts. I don't know what to make of the fact that I claim to be a man, yet I am a huge fan of this songwriter who depicts life and relationships from a female viewpoint. Perhaps it is part of my quest to understand women better, so as to become less of a jerk around them. On this disc, Christine offers several new songs with familiar subject matter: her difficult intimate relationships; the loneliness of the woman folksinger's traveling life; how to find humor in ordinary tasks, such as Sunday breakfast. She makes you laugh out loud when she protests against incessant wind chimes, and tries to gracefully accept going grey. She ends the album with three long, powerful, serious works: "Firehouse" is her tribute to fallen brave men at the World Trade Center, while "Looked Good on Paper" is a warning about compromised morality rationalized in the name of "love". Both are well done, but for me, the best item on the disc is its longest song, at six and a-half minutes. The piece is called "For Carolyn/Something Beautiful" and it begins as a tribute to a newly dead friend who was an artist, poet and decent person. The tale ends up, however, expressing the universal wish of all of us...that when we do pass on, we leave "something beautiful" behind, whether that be a canvas, a manuscript, a song, a child, a political achievement or just good memories in the minds of our pals. This is a lovely piece of work. Christine Lavin has a demented yet optimistic sensibility, and that makes all her albums worth hearing. I suggest buyers listen to this one first with earphones, because she has chosen to have backing vocals, asides, questions and answers, noises, and odd instruments making appearances in several songs. Once you know what's going on, playing it in the car or the living room will be more satisfying.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2004
I have never purchased an album, tape or CD of music, however, I read about the music of Christine Lavin on a knitting list to which I belong. I was intrigued. The poster included a link to her site (christinelavin.com). I went there, browsed, read about petite pans au chocolat (the song "Sunday Breakfast with Christine" gives the recipe and it is entertaining, but it's easier to get the recipe off the website) and listened to "Strangers talk to me". I decided to take the plunge and buy the CD. I listened to the entire CD in one session. "Wind Chimes" made me laugh until I cried, the drivers on the road with me gave me alarmed glances and a wide berth. The last 3 songs made me cry. "Making friends with my gray hair" is priceless. I'm going to enjoy listening to this music time over and over. I hope that you will try it, too.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2002
This isn't Christine's usual funny stuff. It's more of an introspective on life and love, but WOW! I love it!