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Ashes and Roses

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Customer Reviews

12 Albums Later

Before Tuesday's release of "A&R," I had read that many of these new songs were informed by MCC's divorce and by the death of her dad. This is, I believe, the most insight we, the listeners, have had into the origins of her new music. A few years ago, in commenting on "Age of Miracles," I wrote something about how each new album of hers captures a snapshot of a life lived. "Ashes and Roses" then is a much clearer snapshot. But the themes here are universal--for those of us of a certain age...loss, despair, comfort, assessment, hope. I am, at once, embarassed by the proximity of these songs to my own experience, yet comforted by the shared emotions.

I read one review that said that the pace of the record was slow, that the songs were indistinguishable. But what if these songs think out loud over a time in one's life? Who does that? Who has the courage to reveal his or herself and hope that someone listening cares enough to appreciate what is heard? The songs are distinguishable as postcards along her recent journies. They disturb me, provoke me, make me smile, and, ultimately, comfort me. The voice is an old friend. The words reflect new challenges. The music settles over me like a salve. By the end of track 13, I am, if not healed, then healing.

"Ashes and Roses" among her best

Although certainly no "Time*Sex*Love*," or "A Place In the World," this new album finds Mary in a more somber and reflective mood than her previous outtings. While Mary may take fewer chances vocally than before, her strength as one of the greatest songwriters alive has become more fluent. If you're looking for party anthems, you won't find them here. What you will find are songs that speak about growing older, losing love, and redemption.

Great new music!

Mary's latest album is everything I hoped it would be and then some! As a whole, it feels more somber than her last album, but that's not a bad thing. I love her ballads, and there are plenty to listen to on this compilation. And her lyrics!!! Check out the words to "Old Love." It brings me to tears.

Mary packs each song with such thoughtful prose. She's a poet who writes in musical verse. I love it! What a gift.


Born: February 21, 1958 in Princeton, NJ

Genre: Country

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

Mary Chapin Carpenter was part of a small movement of folk-influenced country singer/songwriters of the late '80s. Although many of these performers never achieved commercial success, Carpenter was able to channel her anti-Nashville approach into chart success and industry awards by the early '90s. Carpenter was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, the daughter of a Life magazine executive; she spent two years of her childhood in Japan, where her father was launching the Asian edition of Life....
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Ashes and Roses, Mary Chapin Carpenter
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