I blogged it way back in February, but the day is nearly upon us. Next Tuesday, Mary Chapin Carpenter's new album, The Age of Miracles, will be released and in anticipation, I've been spending way too much time watching MCC videos on YouTube.
Everyone knows "Down At The Twist & Shout" (a song I feel like she regrets) and "He Thinks He'll Keep Her." But there is so much more to her than her hits - some that people might not know. Here's a couple that really hit home tonight. Carpenter's official YouTube channel has smartly allowed embedding. Sony/BMG however, where a lot of her videos are found, are still so worried about the possibility of piracy that they have not yet figured out that it's free publicity.
"House of Cards" is from her 1994 album Stones In The Road and is, as I have said frequently, the most upbeat song I've ever heard about broken homes and the facade of suburbia cracking. It's also one of the few truly uptempo songs on the album. How Carpenter marries the serious subject matter with the easy country-pop music is just amazing to me. And the video is such a product of its time. It's a wonder to me that anyone still bothers with videos.
I just love "You Win Again." As one of the YouTube commenters said, it's one of the best "I am someone!" songs out there. This video isn't as good as the one for "House of Cards" - but Heidi, you should watch it because it's set in VEGAS BABY. She has a tragic haircut but lyrically this song is just fantastic. My sister always used to mock the part at about the 2 minute mark where she sings "Last night I dreamed we were standing here at the corner of love and heartache." Dramatic? Yes. But who cares? It works.
The video is nothing special, but "Almost Home" is one of my favorite of all of Carpenter's songs. It came in between A Place In The World and Time*Sex*Love - albums that both disappointed for their own reasons - but this sounded the more like classic MCC than we'd had in a while.
I was talking to a friend in e-mail tonight about Carpenter's new album - sound samples are up on Amazon MP3 - and while it sounds like it will be a bit more subdued than its predecessor, it sounds great and I can't wait for Tuesday.