Our Bright Future
Chapman creates yet another soulful, personal album that adds to her repertoire of timeless tunes with a few mentions of Jesus and Barack Obama.
Rating: 8 / 10
Jackie Hayden, 11 Nov 2008
As with John Legend et al, Tracy Chapman seems to have imbued her first album in three years with Obama-inspired optimism. This is reflected not only in the title-track but in songs like ‘Save Us All’ which has the country feel of Don Williams and ecumenical ‘I’m saved’ lyrics that namecheck Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Adam and Eve and Hare Krishna.
Jesus gets another mention, alongside ‘Santa Claus’ in the title-track, so the religious right won’t feel left out. ‘Sing For You’ is archetypal Chapman, her coffee-coloured voice exuding warmth on a wistful folksy ditty, and the piano-led ‘For A Dream’ is sparse and winsome, while the silky ‘A Theory’ has more country overtones than you might expect (and lyrics about being wrong, maybe). ‘Something To See (No War)’ has a rich bluesy feel to a song whose lyrics and mood encapsulate the current anti-Bush mood.
The album overall has a very personal and relaxed approach that makes it highly accessible, thanks to the contribution of co-producer Larry Klein. While there’s nothing here to compete with ‘Fast Car’ or ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution’, Chapman writes songs that are built to last, and there’s eleven more of them here.