Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Tracy Chapman - Where You Live (2005)

"Good girls walk fast
In groups of three.
Fast girls walk slow
On side streets.
Sometimes the girls who walk alone
Aren´t found for days or weeks."
Tracy Chapman
When I saw the wonderfully humble and sensitive Tracy Chapman perform "Change" from her then new release, "Where You Live" on one of the late night talk shows a couple of years ago...I was blown away. And so was the audience. She was that good. And I went and bought her CD the next day. I thought it would be huge for her. Unfortunately, that didn't exactly happen.

Tracy Chapman had finally released some new material and I thought...how nice it would be to hear her distinctive voice on the airwaves again. But thanks to the commercial radio stations spoon-feeding us cookie cutter musical drivel...Tracy Chapman and this excellent release was simply pushed aside. Too bad...because this CD is loaded with good stuff.

“Where You Live” (Electra/2005) is Chapman’s seventh studio album and is filled with 11 story songs, honestly offered and delivered in her wonderfully smoky trademark voice. Thankfully, Chapman pulls no punches giving the listener "cause to pause" while enjoying her stories.

Tracy Chapman has never been accused of avoiding difficult subjects and she hits the right note most of the time on this record. Opening with my favorite track, “Change”, TC questions the choices we make. “If you knew that you would die today / If you saw the face of God and love/ Would you change?“

And on “3,000 Miles”, we are reminded that not all people feel sheltered as she sings, Forget trying to live and be happy / I’ll take safe and terror free”. This fantastic song has a refrain I found hard to get out of my head.

Chapman sings, “I’ve been a lot of things/ But never yours” (“Never Yours“), a gentle song of resignation with a bite to the lyrics. “Talk To You” is a strong cry of desperation and is sung with a true sadness in TC’s voice.

Another well-done track is the obligatory political number, “America”, in which she takes a shot at our leaders with a driving beat and catchy hook. “The meek won‘t survive/Or inherit the earth/Cause you‘re still conquering America“. Finally, “Taken”, with its terrific chorus, is a treasure.

(Side note: Flea/bass player from Red Hot Chili Peppers appears on 3 tracks. Go figure).

"Where You Live" is the best collection of songs Tracy Chapman has recorded since her self-titled debut in 1988. This CD would make a welcome addition to anyone's musical collection. And the perfect place to fall in love with Tracy Chapman.
(1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)

Casey

Tracy Chapman-->"3,000 Miles" off Where You Live (2005)
(Must Own)

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