Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Song of the Summer 2012, Continued: Mary Chapin Carpenter and Mumford & Sons

Labor Day is approaching quickly, and I am looking forward to the change of seasons even more than usual.

I think my anticipation is a result of the incredibly hot weather this summer. I cannot wait for some cool evenings (and without mosquitoes!).

Mary Chapin Carpenter has a new album, and her duet with James Taylor, Soul Companion, is outstanding. It's a straightforward song (in terms of the lyrics) with a simple melody, but their two voices together are mesmerizingly beautiful.

I was a big James Taylor fan in late-high school / early college (somehow I largely missed Nirvana and Pearl Jam while listening to "Frozen Man").

Nowadays, when I hear his music it can seem way too saccharine; some of his classics from the 1970's have become almost unlistenable. On certain songs, though, he remains one-of-a-kind soothing.  Soul Companion is such a song. Also, I've always been a sucker for duets. This song goes straight to the top 3 of my favorites for the summer.

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Mumford and Sons' album Sigh No More came out in 2010, and it had big-time crossover appeal. The Cave is one of the most fun songs of the past several years, and I think that it will hold-up over time. Mumford's next album comes out this September, and they have pre-released I Will Wait.

The first time I heard it, my reaction was disappoinment: I Will Wait didn't sound nearly as clever as The Cave or Little Lion Man.

Lo and behold, once I'd listened to I Will Wait multiple times I started to get into it. The quick guitar riff grew on me, and I started to admire the singer's passionate insistence that he would, indeed, wait. Like their other songs, this one has an understandable structure, and I like learning its lyrical and musical rhythms and then singing and dancing along when I hear it again.

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It's been a very good summer for music.  I had my moments of doubt in June, but as the summer's gone along it has played out quite well.

M.C.C. and Mumford are helping it to end on a high note.

Well I came home

Like a stone

And I fell heavy into your arms

These days of dust

Which we have known

Will blow away with this new sun

But I'll kneel down

Wait for now

And I'll kneel down

Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you

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