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Love And Circumstance

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With Love & Circumstance Carrie Rodriguez demonstrates (if you weren't already convinced by her spectacular sophomore album, She Ain't Me) that she has fully matured into a confident and commanding solo artist, in spite of (or perhaps, because of) the fact that the new album consists entirely of covers. Like Emmylou Harris with her 1995 masterpiece, Wrecking Ball, Carrie mines and polishes gems of other songwriters, delivering them in her own unique style. Carrie's voice is sweet and relaxed with a natural twang, perfectly matched to a soundtrack that is both ethereal (similar to, but not to the same extent as Carrie's first two solo albums and Harris' Wrecking Ball) and rootsy. As an interpreter of other people's songs, Carrie doesn't press to match or outdo the originals, but, instead, sounds comfortable in her own skin. The theme of the album is, well, love and circumstance, and Carrie does a fine job of selecting and sequencing the song cycle, choosing a piece from the public domain (well, actually her father, David's, re-write of a traditional folk song), living and deceased legends (Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams), some of the best contemporary songwriters (Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt), the new wave of indie folk (M. Ward) and Latino (Polo Urias popularized a song of Carrie's great aunt). This is an album that you do not want to miss.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: April 13, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ninth Street Opus
  • ASIN: B003AM4PC4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Merrill VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
In Love & Circumstance, Ms. Rodriguez, her producer and band have made her most endearing - and potentially enduring - album to date. The CD is one that truly grew on me, as I liked it the first time through but have come to admire and appreciate the songs even more with each additional listen. Start with Carrie's singing. She can be just as subtle or as forceful as the tune requires, like a great actor who alters their persona for the demands of the role. She moves from playful flirtations on "Big Love" to wistful romance on "Today I Started Loving You Again" to a sweetly thoughtful stance "Waltzing's For Dreamers" and beyond. There's a lot to like among the songs on L&C. The styles of music across the album are a mix of Americana, including straight-ahead country, singer-songwriter stuff (all cover tunes), and roots rock. There's a lot to like. My current favorite is a fresh new take on "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," done as a riveting duet between Carrie and guitarist Bill Frisell, just the two of them. I dig this CD from start to finish.
(Before anyone asks "why not 5 stars?" - I believe the 5-star rating should be reserved for the very best. L&C is an excellent album, but it's no masterpiece by any means. For those who think anything good should automatically be 5 stars, you've contributed to the watering down of customer ratings on this site.)
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I have been a big fan of Carrie Rodriquez since her first CD with Chip Taylor back a few years. I think her collaborations with Chip Taylor stand as some of the best, most authentic and "honest" music ever created. While I am a fan of the her first solo CD, I frankly find this CD and "She Ain't Me" a let-down. Sure, Carrie gets to sing great tunes by some of the best songwriters ever (John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, etc.) The production is excellent; the playing is without flaw. Still, I find both CDs a bit ... packaged and calculated and not particularly heartfelt. I would describe these albums as sturdy collections of songs you already love by others. I understand the impulse to try to push Ms. Rodriquez in this way: She has a great voice, plays the fiddle well (although not enough here for my taste) and she is very beautiful. I wish her well. I just wish she I had the sense that she was personally passionate about these particular songs. I just don't feel that here.
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Amazing effort of this great singer songwriter. After several albums together with Chip Taylor she definitely proofed with this album that she is able to stand on her own feet en maintain the great quality of her previous solo albums. If you listen carefully to this album , you will go back to the shop and buy all her music, for sure.
Great music, great singing and for sure she has also the looks.
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Format: Audio CD
Love and Circumstance is Rodriguez's fourth release, offering immediately accessible tunes ranging from country western and contemporary folk to rock-oriented pop songs. Production occasionally dips its toes into "radio" territory. While not a groundbreaking release, this album is an enjoyable collection of songs, and I'm happy to have added her to my own music rotation. File smack in the middle of a sanitized Lucinda Williams and Dar Williams.
GENRES: Mellow Rock, Contemporary Folk, Rock.

BUY IF YOU LIKE: Dar Williams, Lucinda Williams, Katie Curtis, Lucy Kaplansky, Cheryl Crowe.

MUST HEAR TRACKS: "Gypsy Davy," "Steal Your Love" (hear any Lucinda here?), "Rex's Blues."
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