Making a welcome return to music after ten years of writing plays and books, Marshall Chapman once stood as a peer of Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver and other outlaw country artists. Whether she’s extrapolating from the beatific smile of a baby in a grocery store (“Call The Lamas!”) or imagining herself a particle in space on its way to a beautiful goal (“Bright Red Sunset”), Chapman is a master of simple, if exaggerated, imagery set to basic blues and rock ‘n’ roll. The album is hurt by its reliance on Mike Lawler, a musician with an array of ’80s guitar effects pedals and synthesizers who performs all the instrumentation. Only “I Love Everybody (I Love Everything)”, which is as John Prine-like as the title suggests, benefits from a full-band backing. Longtime fans will rejoice that Chapman is back; neophytes are directed to her sadly mostly out-of-print catalogue.
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