Mary Chapin Carpenter

Between Here and Gone

Americana artist Mary Chapin Carpenter’s thoughtful new album is infused with melancholy. Unlike most of her previous efforts, which usually include an upbeat, rock-influenced tune or two—think “Down at the Twist and Shout” or “Shut Up and Kiss Me”—this collection is one heart-tugging ballad after another. Though that may be too much unbearable sadness for some listeners, Carpenter’s original and unexpected lyrical gift has a way of making the minor key less angsty and more reflective. Here, songs like “What Would You Say to Me” and the title track tap into traditional folk, and “Grand Central Station” is as touching a meditation on 9/11 as any I’ve heard—it ranks right up there with Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” It’s not necessarily recommended listening for depressives, but sentiment outweighs sentimentality throughout.