Thursday, September 12, 2013

Music Week: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Bonnie Tyler

I know that many of you are going "What?  Why?" with some of my choices for this week.  I have always, always, always been drawn to strong female artists, and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Bonnie Tyler (my two-for-one today) are no exceptions.

First I want to talk about Mary Chapin Carpenter.  I happen to love most of her songs, and was introduced to this woman's fabulous music at a time when I needed music desperately.  My entire world was crumbling around me, and this was right after my parents divorced.  Now, I know that it makes no sense, especially since people divorce all the time nowadays, but to a young child like I was at the time of my parents' divorce, I was disoriented, and had no clue what was going on, and wouldn't until I was much older.  In my opinion, children suffer the most in any divorce, no matter if the divorce is between two civilians or two celebrities, and I was no different.

Mary Chapin Carpenter's music came at a really difficult juncture and just washed over me and soothed me.  Some of my all-time favorites are Quittin' Time (from State of the Heart), Down At The Twist & Shout (from Shooting Straight in the Dark), the entirety of the album Come On Come On, and On With The Song (from The Calling).

I love MCC's music and while a lot of people thought she was crazy to turn away from country music, I think she's perfectly crazy for me.  Besides, she has taken a different tack in country music.  I still think of her as a country artist.  I have a very clear disdain for country songs that are just tacky, honky-tonk rip-roaring songs, and the subtlety of country music is something that Mary Chapin Carpenter embodies perfectly.  Subtlety is the king of country music in my opinion, and Mary Chapin Carpenter does this beautifully.

Now, for the other artist I am featuring: Bonnie Tyler.  She has a POWERFUL voice that makes my hair stand on end every time I hear a song of hers.  Some of my favorites of hers are: Total Eclipse of the Heart, Holding Out For A Hero, and her cover of Air Supply's Making Love out of Nothing At All.  And I just realized something as I typed this: All three of those songs were either written or co-written by Jim Steinman, the mastermind behind the Meat Loaf classic (and now M&Ms commercial breakout hit) I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).  That's incredible.  Now I'll probably go find some of her... deeper cuts.