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Open Wide features singer/songwriter Jen Chapin (daughter of the late Harry Chapin) in a stark and unusual setting, accompanied only by her husband, Stephan Crump, on double bass. This may be "naked music," as it's described in the acknowledgements, but Chapin's tender, bluesy voice and Crump's low-moaning strings blanket it in warmth. The melodies aren't uniformly strong, but taken as a whole the record compels with its careful blend of intimacy and rhythmic force. Chapin, her dulcet tone spiked with an occasional rasp, delivers lyrics that mix the personal with the political in a refreshingly honest, hopeful, and unpreachy way. She's also got some wisdom to share on the subject of love, pure and (not so) simple. Highly original, highly recommended.