With the release of Ashes and Roses, Mary Chapin Carpenter offers her eleventh studio album that began with her Columbia Records gem, 1987’s Hometown Girl.  Over the decades, Carpenter has produced a dizzying beautiful and insightful array of albums that gained her mass attention as an artist of worth.

Starting with the excellent “Transcendental Reunion”, a tune that metaphorically uses lights seen from a plane to positively embrace what we all are.  In it, she also contrasts being alone with the same kind of Love Actually swarm of heartfelt welcome that takes place in airports.  In this, we are more than what we appear to be in Carpenter’s world.

Every track on Ashes and Roses is an experience beautifully wrapped in her folk-style with country leanings music.  To say that one songs stands out over the other would be a miscarriage of assessment.

In times where completely perfect albums are rare, it’s quite a pleasure to tell you about one like this one.

Over the years, I have come to ask an important question to myself, which is to wonder why Mary Chapin Carpenter is not mentioned consistently alongside the many great female singer-songwriter artists of our times.  There’s Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, Joan Baez, and the underrated and equally unpraised Laura Nyro.

It’s clear to me that even at this stage of Carpenter’s magnificent career, more people should know exactly who you’re talking about when you mention her.  This album is nothing short of extraordinary.

“We are travelers traveling, we are gypsies together, we’re philosophers gathering, we are business or pleasure.

We are going or coming, we’re just finding our way to the next destination, and from night into day.”  –Transcendental Reunion

Release Date: June 12, 2012

–Matt Rowe

By MARowe

One thought on “Review: Ashes and Roses – Mary Chapin Carpenter”
  1. To paraphrase her fellow compatriot, Shawn Colvin, March-Chapin has always been a “Diamond, but never Rough.” Her musical insightfulness is transcendant and awe-inspiring. She is a definite Jewel in our crown. I’ve always found her to be witty, charming in her lyrical conveyance, and genuinely amazing in her form. A great review for a stellar artist. There are not enough artists like her. And she is easy on the eyes. :)

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