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For nearly thirty years strong, on many albums like Come On Come On, Stones in the Road, Between Here and Gone, and Ashes and Roses, Mary Chapin Carpenter has earned the trust of her audience through her willingness to look deep into herself and share joys and sorrows, good times and bad. That honesty, that quiet fearlessness, reaches a startling new level on The Things That We Are Made Of. These eleven songs communicate with the plainspokenness of handwritten, heartfelt letters from a confiding friend; this is art without the artifice. The result is music that is likely to be as powerfully moving as any you have ever heard.
The Things That We Are Made Of offers listeners a significant gift – an unguarded look into the beating heart of one of the strongest singer-songwriters of our time. In an intriguing way, Carpenter occasionally sounds as if she stands in the same relationship to the album that we do, that having created it, she is still plumbing it for meaning and for sustenance. “I feel as if I’m still trying to come up with a reliable way of talking about what this album is about,” Carpenter says. “I haven’t finished thinking about it. It’s part of an ongoing conversation that I’m having with myself about my life. But if you’re not trying to connect in some way to the world, what else is there? All I can hope for is that people connect to it. That’s the most rewarding part of doing this work – believing that you’re speaking to what we all feel.
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