Hearts in Mind  [Bonus Track]

Hearts in Mind [Bonus Track]

3.0 3
by Nanci Griffith
     
 

Eloquent and moving, Hearts in Mind, Nanci Griffith’s first new studio album in nearly four years, takes as its theme love and war, addressing those topics both singly and at the point where they intertwine to change lives and quicken emotions. "Simple Life," the rustic, dobro-rich album opener, is a heartfelt, traditional country plea from a mother desiring…  See more details below

Overview

Eloquent and moving, Hearts in Mind, Nanci Griffith’s first new studio album in nearly four years, takes as its theme love and war, addressing those topics both singly and at the point where they intertwine to change lives and quicken emotions. "Simple Life," the rustic, dobro-rich album opener, is a heartfelt, traditional country plea from a mother desiring nothing more than to live out her days quietly and productively, "like my mother," with a good man at her side and her children staying nearby rather than going off to war. Inspired by a recent trip to Vietnam, "Heart of Indochine" traces an arc of pain and a quest for salvation and peace in a land besieged by outside forces, the soundscape’s quiet, shuffling percussion and moaning guitar lines conjuring an eerie ambiance that evokes the complex, blood-stained beauty of the country in question. On a similar note, the acutely observed "Old Hanoi" finds Griffith recounting a search in that city’s "sacred streets" for a vestige of the culture that once made Indochine a sacred place; the plaintive moan of a harmonium and a soft-strummed acoustic guitar behind her vocal only heighten the poignancy of a dreamland pillaged by progress. The folk-country elegance of "Beautiful," a heartfelt, lovestruck ballad addressed to Griffith's musician stepfather ("you taught me how to write these notes upon a page…and you are beautiful") swings in a low-key manner, with a stream of jubilant Dixieland clarinet lines lending the whole affair a bracing jauntiness. Jimmy Buffett helps Griffith lighten up on a tropical-flavored toe-tapper, "I Love This Town," his cameo being a welcome laugher in the midst of some heavy doings here. All in all, Griffith makes the most of her return to the studio: Hearts in Mind promises to endure.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
A trip to Southeast Asia and the U.S. invasion of Iraq seem to have inspired much of Nanci Griffith's 12th studio album of new, original material, Hearts in Mind. "I don't want your wars to take my children," Griffith sings in the country-folk opener, "A Simple Life," and at the album's end, in "Big Blue Ball of War," she provides a historical primer of world conflicts that concludes speciously by suggesting that if only women were in charge of things, wars would cease. In between, "Heart of Indochine" and "Old Hanoi" provide her observations on Vietnam, the former pleading, "Deliver me to a river of peace." And while "Before" and "Love Conquers All" do not concern war directly, they do refer to it. Meanwhile, songwriter Julie Gold, who previously gave Griffith "From a Distance" (before Bette Midler absconded with it) and "Heaven," contributes a reflection on 9/11, "Mountain of Sorrow," that treats the loss of the World Trade Center towers as if it were a case of romantic heartbreak. But Hearts in Mind is not a full-fledged concept album about state violence. "Angels" (written by Tom Kimmel and Jennifer Kimball) and "Rise to the Occasion" speak to the ennobling power of love. "Beautiful" is Griffith's tribute to her stepfather. "Back When Ted Loved Sylvia," written by Le Ann Etheridge, is a non-rhyming reflection on the relationship between poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. And "I Love This Town," a duet with Jimmy Buffett written by Clive Gregson, provides comic relief and a catchy hook. Still, the shadow of war is never far away, even if it is often expressed in historical or impressionistic terms. No longer concerned with reaching a mass audience, Griffith co-produces with Pat McInerney, one of her backup musicians, delivering arrangements that lean more toward folk and bluegrass styles, with occasional string charts thrown in. "Last Train Home," with its Texas two-step rhythm, sounds like something from one of her early albums. Hearts in Mind doesn't have anything to say about war that Griffith's fans don't know (and probably agree with), and it can be a bit simple-minded, but it delivers the familiar reflective, literary goods that those fans will expect. (While this version of the album, released in the British Isles in 2004, has 13 tracks, the U.S. version released in 2005 adds a 14th one, "Our Very Own," a gentle ballad duet with Keith Carradine that reflects on age and responsibility.)

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2005
Label:
New Door Records
UPC:
0075021034570
catalogNumber:
000366902
Rank:
123489

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nanci Griffith   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Jimmy Buffett   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Clive Gregson   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Mandolin,Accordion,Electric Guitar,Group Member
Tom Kimmel   Vocal Harmony
Keith Carradine   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Lloyd Green   Dobro,Steel Guitar
David Angell   Violin
Tony Berg   Bass,Keyboards
John Catchings   Cello
David Davidson   Violin
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Jim Grosjean   Viola
James Hooker   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Group Member
Doug Lancio   Electric Guitar,Gut String Guitar,Guitar (Electric Resonator),Mando-Guitar
Pat McInerney   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Christian Teal   Violin
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Cathryn Craig   Vocal Harmony
Monisa Angell   Viola
Ron de la Vega   Bass Guitar,Group Member
Janet Askey   Violin
Ann Etheridge   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Vocal Harmony,Group Member
Elizabeth Cook   Vocal Harmony
Tom Lutz   Acoustic Guitar

Technical Credits

Nanci Griffith   Composer,Producer,Song Notes
Clive Gregson   Composer,Song Notes
Tom Kimmel   Composer
Keith Carradine   Composer,Producer
Ron Davies   Composer
Bruce Mackay   Guitar Techician
Tony Berg   Producer
John Catchings   Orchestration
Julie Gold   Composer,Song Notes
Jennifer Kimball   Composer
Pat McInerney   Producer,Song Notes
Burt Stein   Management
Chris Arvan   Engineer
Charles Stefl   Song Notes
Ann Etheridge   Composer,Song Notes
Elizabeth Cook   Composer
John Hurley   Engineer

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