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Where You Live
     

Where You Live

5.0 2
by Tracy Chapman
 
Tracy Chapman is that rare artist who can get away with singing lines like "If you saw the face of God and love, would you change?" and not sound at all preachy or hypocritical. Her dusky alto is full of melancholy and sincerity, and even though Where You Live addresses such topics as contemporary politics ("America"), abduction ("3,000 Miles"), and

Overview

Tracy Chapman is that rare artist who can get away with singing lines like "If you saw the face of God and love, would you change?" and not sound at all preachy or hypocritical. Her dusky alto is full of melancholy and sincerity, and even though Where You Live addresses such topics as contemporary politics ("America"), abduction ("3,000 Miles"), and homelessness ("Before Easter"), it is first and foremost a seductive, soulful album. It is also one of Chapman's most beguiling works, in part due to Tchad Blake, who co-produced the album with her. Unlike the clattering, noisy style he favored when working with Los Lobos and the Latin Playboys, Blake allows a lot of space into songs like the pulsing "Never Yours" and the prayerful "Be and Be Not Afraid," and the stellar band built around Joe Gore's guitar and Mitchell Froom's keyboards (and, on three tracks, Flea's bass) offers subtly challenging textures. "I believe in mistakes and accidents / That the nature of life is chaos and confusion," Chapman sings on "Be and Be Not Afraid," but amid that chaos and confusion, Chapman is a calm and steady voice of conscience, and of beauty.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Gregory McIntosh
Where You Live is a reminder that somewhere during her career, Tracy Chapman softly transformed from just an early publicized face of contemporary folk into a quiet stalwart of social commentary and atmosphere. Though she is certainly best known for her hits "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason," those two songs stand within her history as suspension bridge supports: visible from afar as beacons of a structure with purpose, whose job is to sustain the action from point A to point B in her slow evolution. And with major labels' consistent tendency to lean further and further away from hosting artists for more than an album or two, it is commendable that Elektra seems dedicated in serving Chapman's subtlety and dependable longevity, affording her the luxury of having producers and players aboard who nurture her sound through said evolution. Where You Live is yet another elegant and easy album from Chapman, just the kind her fan base has come to expect, and with the help of co-producer Tchad Blake, it embraces some details of Chapman's penchant for darkness, where parts of her earlier records glossed over these folds. Judging by many of the artists with whom he has worked, Blake's inclination seems to be to find minutiae such as this and latch on, his approach being generally heavy-handed, but here he has left plenty of room for the songs to really breathe around their most intriguing attribute: Chapman's warm voice. Perhaps it was Chapman's role as co-producer that served as a ballast, or perhaps it is an example of Blake's growth, but it is worth noting Blake's late-'90s trademark -- ultra-compressed, watery, and claustrophobic drum sounds -- has been given a rest in exchange for simple, dry, and tight drums played minimally by Quinn. This restrained foundation is integral to the dynamics of Where You Live, allowing any flourish to meet the ear with immediacy and purpose. Short of a few examples, Where You Live slides along at a gentle, mid-tempo gait. The nature of Chapman's calm delivery, as with much of her catalog, is deceiving, considering some of the heavy subject matter, but it is perhaps one of her greatest assets that she is able to allow her messages to sink in like mellow fatigue on a late-summer Sunday evening. In anyone else's hands, these smooth edges would likely suffer under the force of preaching, but her demeanor allows the words and melodies to work for themselves. Perhaps due to the album's fluidity, no song from Where You Live immediately presents itself as the single; instead the album operates entirely as a measured course and will enlighten those who will choose to fall into its simple allure, rather than acting as a hook for new listeners.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2005
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0075678380327
catalogNumber:
83803
Rank:
89926

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tracy Chapman   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Clarinet,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,keyboard bass,Hand Drums
Paul Bushnell   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Flea   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Mitchell Froom   Organ,Celeste,Harpsichord,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Joe Gore   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Percussion,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar,keyboard bass
Dave Pilch   Upright Bass
Quinn   Percussion,Piano,Drums,Glockenspiel
Quinn   Percussion,Piano,Drums,Glockenspiel,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Jared Miller   Background Vocals
Michael Webster   Keyboards,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Tracy Chapman   Composer,Producer,Contributor,Audio Production
Tchad Blake   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Steve Jensen   Management
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
John Heiden   Art Direction
Martin Kirkup   Management
Kaskara   Cover Photo

Customer Reviews

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Where You Live 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
LISTENING 2 "WHERE YOU LIVE" I MUST SAY THAT TRACY IS ONE OF THE MOST DOWN 2 EARTH SINGERS IN MY C.D. COLLECTION!I JUST PUT HER C.D. ON AND SIT BACK & CLOSE MY EYES!I TRULY FEEL HER MUSIC & I WILL CONTINUE 2 HAVE HER C.D.'S ALONG W/ME IN IN HOME &IN MY CAR!!!!JUST PUT HER MUSIC ON & LET HER VOCALS COME 2 "WHERE YOU LIVE"!TRUST ME YOU WON'T BE @ ALL DISAPPOINTED!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe it, but she managed to outdo her last album ("Let It Rain") which was a real winner. This recording is subtle and smart...a real joy to listen to and re-listen to. Tracy Chapman is a great talent and I'm surprised that the release of this album didn't get the fanfare of other less impressive stuff.