The Calling - Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Calling Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: This politically-charged effort is the veteran country-folk artist's first album in three years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Time will tell, of course, but in The Calling, Carpenter may have her finest moment yet; it also feels like an artistic rebirth.
  2. The Calling will test your emotions, making you feel glowing and comfortable, then useless and helpless.
  3. If the new album goes farther in advocating a political conscience--"On with the Song" takes jabs at the jingoistic rubes who dissed the Dixie Chicks, while "Why Shouldn't We" insists we'll have worthy heroes in office again one day--it largely invokes the same quiet, warm, and conversational tone as its predecessor.
  4. The album, like so much of her other work, should be on year-end lists nine months from now.
  5. Only a singer-songwriter with the force and clarity of Mary Chapin Carpenter could make nihilism sound so cheery.
  6. Carpenter... us[es] image-rich, airy tunes to sweetly embrace positive persistence in the face of adversity.
  7. Though much of the blandness can be attributed to Matt Rollings' MOR production, one is left wishing an artist of Carpenter's considerable talents would eschew the aural dreck and truly shine. [May 2007, p.68]

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JohnD
    Apr 28, 2007
    10
    Obviously the last reviewer (Todd W) is clueless. Second generation musicians? Harry and Karen? REALLY??? Are we comparing this to Muskrat Obviously the last reviewer (Todd W) is clueless. Second generation musicians? Harry and Karen? REALLY??? Are we comparing this to Muskrat Love, or Taxi? This must be someone who listens to too much Rap, or perhaps went to too many Hot Tuna (Electric band) concerts and has no eardrums. This is an album that touches the heart, without being pretentious. I'm not a country music fan... but Mary has a way to get the message across the boundary of typecasting. Great album. Expand
  2. MattD.
    May 1, 2007
    9
    I completely disagree with Todd W. Mary Chapin is one of the finest around. Whether it be the imagery in "Twilight" or the more political I completely disagree with Todd W. Mary Chapin is one of the finest around. Whether it be the imagery in "Twilight" or the more political "Houston," she never fails to impress. Musically, this CD is almost as good as Come On Come On. Expand
  3. AllenS
    May 8, 2007
    8
    This is such a fine album--free of the tiresome pyrotechnics and harshness that too often poses as authenticity and utterly obscures music. This is such a fine album--free of the tiresome pyrotechnics and harshness that too often poses as authenticity and utterly obscures music. No problem like that here. Plenty of good, melancholy strolls here. How does a complete stranger manage to sound like she's putting a hand on your shoulder and offering a sympathetic word for those all-too-common wounds? It's a rare singer or artist who achieves this. But again she does. Expand
  4. ToddW
    Apr 26, 2007
    5
    One hates to slam an offering by the progeny of a true talent, but like most second generation family musicians, Chapin-Carpenter's One hates to slam an offering by the progeny of a true talent, but like most second generation family musicians, Chapin-Carpenter's releases are cause for a collective yawn. She's no Harry; she's not even in league with Karen. Her music is just, well, alright. She does get props for working somewhat outside of the faux country miasma that is Trashville these days, but limbo is not a good place to be if you want to be heard. If you're going to work outside of the Sewerstream, at least SAY SOMETHING once in a while, ala Rosanne Cash. There's plenty to write about. After all, there is a war going on (in case any of you forgot on your way to the nearest neighborhood Walmart), the Earth is slowly drowning itself, and the Material Generation of the 80's is in adulthood with all of its bad haircuts (or "Hellets" - the combination of poofy helmet hair and mullet) and blind loyalty to SUVs and magnetic yellow ribbons. I know, Mary, a paycheck is a paycheck. Would that you were a female Paycheck. Expand