Friday, December 19, 2008

Jingle Bells: Bells Are Ringing

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Bells are Ringing


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am a Mary Chapin Carpenter fan - there's just something about her whispered enuciation, her unique phrasing and her compelling lyrics that leave me equally peaceful and challenged. She releases consistently excellent recordings, and her latest (in late September) is certainly no exception - Come Darkness, Come Light is subtitled Twelve Songs of Christmas and is filled to overflowing with appropriate covers and originals that reflect (pun intended) the holiday season in all its facets.

From the Rounder store:

Finally, a Christmas album worth listening to all year long. When Mary Chapin Carpenter set out to create Come Darkness, Come Light, she took a far different approach to recording a holiday album than most artists do. Rather than simply lending her voice to time-worn Christmas standards, Mary Chapin wrote her own set of heartfelt songs which explore the many meanings and emotions that Christmas evokes in each of us. These songs, mixed with a few hand-picked gems from other writers and rarely heard traditional tunes, will speak directly to the hearts of all Mary Chapin Carpenter fans. These are not merely holiday songs, they are simply great Mary Chapin Carpenter songs, both warm and intimate. And while they artfully capture the spirit of the season, this is a rare Christmas album that doesn't feel like it needs to be kept on the shelf between New Year's and Thanksgiving. With stellar support from longtime musical partners Jon Carroll (piano) and co-producer John Jennings (guitars), Mary Chapin's voice goes down as warmly as hot cider on a cold winter's night.

Interestingly enough, I first heard Bells Are Ringing on a compilation I bought from Target quite a few years ago, which included selections from a diverse group (Shawn Colvin to Ricky Martin!) - it is delightful to see the song resurrected on this new offering, to reach a wider audience.

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