Top positive review
36 people found this helpful
on January 14, 2014
Words cannot express how much I love this album. Everything about it is wonderful. Admittedly, I'm a huge Mary Chapin Carpenter fan, and there's little she could do that I wouldn't love, but this album really exceeded even my greatest hopes.
Like Nanci Griffith's DUST BOWN SYMPHONY or Dougie MacLean's WITH STRINGS, this is an album of revisited songs. Not "greatest hits," but more likely songs that seemed to lend themselves to the orchestral arrangements. The song selection is only one of the great things about this album, though.
These are entirely new recordings. Arrangements for full orchestra have been made for each song, and it's the full orchestral sound that you get -- she's not accompanied by her usual band here. Given that the title of the album is SONGS FROM THE MOVIE, the end product sounds very much like a great motion picture score. The arrangements are full and lush, playing a larger role than just that of a backing track. We even get a chorus as backing vocalists on one track ("Ideas Are Like Stars").
For me, one of the things that makes this album so special is the way it takes these songs and lifts them beyond genre. Songs that might have originally been labeled "folk" or "country" become timeless standards. "Where Time Stands Still" is such a fitting song for this album, because this album seems to exist in a place outside of time.
If I had to make a criticism of the album, it would only be that the album is too short. Sure, it's almost 52 minutes long, but it only left me wanting more. A couple of original songs, not recorded before, would have been lovely, but I can't complain about anything that's here.
It's wonderful to have an artist step outside their usual box every once in a while, and this album is a thrilling addition to the Mary Chapin Carpenter catalog.