Talk to You
Be and Be Not Afraid
Tracy Chapman first emerged at the end of the ‘80s with a self-titled album that presented her as an obvious descendant of the socially conscious singer/songwriters of the ‘60s. While her immediate success with “Fast Car” and “Talkin’ Bout A Revolution” seemed to position her as an international star, the ensuing albums and years have been more artistically than commercially rewarding (the exception being her 1996 hit “Give Me One Reason”). Produced by Chapman and Tchad Blake, Where You Live pulls no grand surprises, but features several masterful songs presented in quiet, spare spaces that emphasize Chapman’s great intimacy. “Change” begins things with her trademark quaver, a soulful tremble in her voice that makes the future sound like a fragile promise destined to be broken. “3,000 Miles” recounts modern horror stories, while admitting Chapman’s own distance from the unpleasant realities. “Going Back” features Chapman and Joe Gore’s keyboards with Mitchell Froom’s celeste to create a muted, carnival-esque mood piece. These are quiet moments worth contemplating.