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Our Bright Future

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Tracy Chapman’s eighth studio album, 2008’s Our Bright Future, reflects the singer-songwriter’s twenty years of expertise. With producer Larry Klein lining up two seasoned backing groups — drummers Steve Gadd and Joey Waronker keeping solid time — Chapman has an assured groove to comfort her forthright insecurities. Chapman’s strength has always been her vulnerability, the way her voice quivers as she celebrates her joys and admits her inner doubts. There are always warnings among the celebrations and she jumps right in on her first album in three years, recorded over two summer months in Los Angeles. “I Did It All” observes the desire to self-expose oneself in today’s reality TV culture with nightclub jazz style. “Sing for You” is simply gorgeous, Chapman’s voice caressing a perfect melody to recount her lifelong musical journey. “A Theory” slides towards a western motif with its shuffling groove. “The Last Person On Earth” speaks for a person watching the Hurricane Katrina waters rise with little hope for relief. Chapman still knows how to stir the emotions.


Born: 30 March 1964 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tracy Chapman helped restore singer/songwriters to the spotlight in the '80s. The multi-platinum success of Chapman's eponymous 1988 debut was unexpected, and it had lasting impact. Although Chapman was working from the same confessional singer/songwriter foundation that had been popularized in the '70s, her songs were fresh and powerful, driven by simple melodies and affecting lyrics. At the time of her first album, there were only a handful of artists performing such a style successfully, and her...
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Our Bright Future, Tracy Chapman
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