Mary Chapin Carpenter Puts 5 Years of Pain into "Ashes and Roses"
Mary Chapin Carpenter is preparing to release her newest album, Ashes to Roses, and the heralded singer-songwriter reveals that the material was inspired by five very difficult years in her life and that listeners will be taken on her emotional journey.
She explains: "It's the most personal record I've made in the sense that I speak about a lot of things that have happened to me the last five years -- among them, losing one of my parents, getting divorced, and having a serious illness. It's fairly likely that those were the things I was going to be writing about this time around."
The emotional depth of the songs is not something she could have produced before her painful experiences. "Absolutely not” she says. “Unfortunately, those things are something you have to go through to address them in this way. I feel like I'm coming out from the other side, but I couldn't have written them before now."
After previewing some of the tracks, I cannot wait to listen to the entire album since, as she explained, the rawness of each moment is so well detailed, so vivid that it’s entirely engrossing. The track, “What to Keep and What to Throw Away” was written as “a moment-by-moment replay of having to clean out my former spouse's things from my house. I think anyone who has ever had to do that will testify that it's pretty harrowing to do that. It was a very difficult day. Writing this song and reliving every moment. The repeating line is 'These are your instructions,' and the reality is that there are no instruction manuals for getting through something like this. You just have to steel yourself, and be as strong as you possibly can."
Few artists are able to be so open, so honest and so vulnerable. Ashes to Roses is definitely worth a listen.
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