Album Reviews

Jen Chapin – Reckoning (Purple Chair Music)

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Jen Chapin ReckoningJen Chapin, daughter of the late and beloved Harry Chapin, has released the most mature and satisfying album of her fledgling career with Reckoning. It is a collection of carefully crafted and sophisticated pop with elements of jazz, folk and rock. Her talent as a songwriter and storyteller was clearly inherited from her father, and a talent he would have been more than proud of. She has her father’s soft but articulate voice and his passion for social issues.

“Insatiable” is a jazzy haunting song that calls into question our culture’s obsession with security and the quasi-militaristic. The stunningly brilliant “Feed My Baby” takes on the broken food system in this land of plenty, reflecting her life-long devotion to WhyHunger, the organization founded by her father in 1975. The tango-driven “Go Away” is an evocative song about the paradoxical joy and relief when a lover is away. My favorite song is “Let it Show”, a moving, hymn-like offering advice to her unborn child. Almost perfectly and unobtrusively arranged, the maternal wisdom is: “the one thing you should know/Is find your joy and let it show.” Yes, indeed.

Reckoning is a subtle, sophisticated recording that grows in stature with each listening and is well worth your consideration.

– Robert Myers

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