My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Duke Levine

Album Review: Mary Chapin Carpenter – A Place In The World

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s sixth album, A Place In The World, released in October of 1996, charted at #3 on the Country Albums chart and at #20 on Billboard’s 200 following two of her most successful albums, Come On Come On and Stones In The Road. Mary Chapin penned all the songs and co-produced the album with John Jennings as well. However, I wonder if its chart success wasn’t a direct result of the success of those previous two albums rather than the overall quality of the album itself. There are some good, and even great, songs on this album, but there are also some that don’t quite measure up to the standard Carpenter sets on her previous records.

Four singles made it onto the charts, though they are far from the best songs on the album. ‘Let Me Into Your Heart’ was the first one and almost broke the top ten in the U.S., coming in at #11. It made it all the way to #5 in Canada. Catchy, rhythmic, upbeat, with brass and back-up singers, it has a Motown soul feel to it instead of Country. But I found it unusual that none of the lyrics really grabbed me — one of the few MCC songs that I can say that about. The unremarkable last chorus is an example:

You’re like a sweet smile to these tired eyes
You’re like the last mile on a long ride
Oh I never believed in the arms of fate
But to be in yours darling, I believe I’d wait
‘Til the end of time for a chance to start
If you’d just let me into your heart

Second to chart was ‘I Want To Be Your Girlfriend’. It only made it to #35. It’s another up-tempo number but with somewhat better lyrics and a bit of humor about how a crush feels like a crush even when you’re no longer a teenager:

You used to be just this guy I knew from that same old scene
For all the time that I’ve known you, just now I’m noticing
That everything there is to feel, feels worse than any teenage crush
And all the times that I’ve been near you, now I can’t get near enough

Someone described it as “bubblegum pop” in a 60s style which fits that teenage crush mood. Fun song, but back-to-back, light, up-tempo numbers without a lot of meat to them must not have worked after the stellar hits of the previous couple years. Carpenter’s momentum on the charts began to wane.

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