10: Come On Come On (Mary-Chapin Carpenter)

Album: Come On Come On
Artist: Mary-Chapin Carpenter
Year: 1992

1. The Hard Way
2. He Thinks He’ll Keep Her
3. Rhythm of the Blues
4. I Feel Lucky
5. The Bug
6. Not Too Much to Ask (with Joe Diffie)
7. Passionate Kisses
8. Only a Dream
9. I Am a Town
10. Walking Through Fire
11. I Take My Chances
12. Come On Come On

It was really hard not to view this album through a wave of nostalgia. It was the first CD I ever owned and is one of the few I still have. Three songs turned me onto country music.  Boot Scootin’ Boogie by Brooks & Dunn, Runnin’ Behind by Tracy Lawrence, and I Feel Lucky by Mary-Chapin Carpenter.  But this album is more than nostalgia.  It’s truly an exceptional collection of songs. Not that the radio is the best barometer for quality, but Come On Come On had seven singles and all seven were Top 20. Even more amazingly, the best two charting singles were the sixth and seventh.

Carpenter is a smoker and there’s a bit of gravel in her voice that works for me, especially on her ballads. Combine that with mature songwriting (she wrote every song except Passionate Kisses) and you get some really moving songs. He Thinks He’ll Keep Her is a refreshing and honest look at divorce from a women’s perspective.  Rhythm of the Blues is as soulful as one will get from contemporary country. Then we get I Feel Lucky, a very fun fantasy about winning the lottery. What would Mary-Chapin do with 11 million dollars? First things first: buy a pack of Camel’s, a burrito, and a Barq’s. She also entertains fighting off Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam’s sexual advances.  Great stuff.

The Bug and Not Too Much to Ask are okay filler and Joe Diffie was definitely not needed for the duet. The flip side of the album is where its at. Passionate Kisses is about a basic need of Carpenter’s that Maslow forgot to add to his hierarchy. Only a Dream is an amazing introspective ballad. I Am a Town is pretty good poetry to music. I Take My Chances is a better written version of the “Don’t follow the crowd” trope in country music. The title track is the perfect ending to the album, a powerful lullaby.

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3 thoughts on “10: Come On Come On (Mary-Chapin Carpenter)

  1. Very solid album. Seems like she used most of it up on this album, no? The only other two songs I can think of are “Shut up and kiss me” and “Grow old along with me”. Of course, that’s just radio play. Maybe the albums still had good stuff.

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