CARLENE CARTER is da Bomb! This double cd is really a 4.5 *
John B. Taylor | Alexander City, AL USA | 01/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must differ a good bit from [other reviews]. Yes, the vocals in some of the songs are somewhat lost in the mix of the instruments. The thing is, that instrumentation is by the fabulous Rockpile (consisting of Carlene's then husband Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds).Musical Shapes is a 5 star release. Cry is just a (...)kicking piece of rockin' country. 'Baby Ride Easy', a duet with Dave Edmunds, is one of the greatest duets you ever will hear. The interplay between the two is so convincing that you think it was a first person account. 'Madness' highlights the fine gutiar work of Edmunds. I will grant you, Ring of Fire is a let down compared to her step-dad's classic. The new wavish approach does not work. Too Bad About Sandy and Bandit of Love are other standouts. Foggy Mountain Top is a good re-interpretation of the ole Carter Family gem. Overall, this album can be mentioned in the same breath as Marshall Crenshaw's selt titled debut as fine examples of early 80s rockabilly.I give Blue Nun 4 stars. A little inconsistent. The highlight of the album is the duet with Paul Carrack on Edwin Starr's "Oh How Happy". C'mon Feet, a retitled cover of the John Fogerty/CCR tune 'Born to Move' and Love Is A 4 Letter Verb are also stellar.I have turned many hard core rock n roll fans on to Carter at rollingstone.com. She is like an alternative Linda Ronstadt. Get your hands on anything you can by this woman who is Carl Smith and June Carter's daughter, Johnny Cash's stepdaughter, Nick Lowe's ex, and a part of the legendary Carter Family no less! Plus, she was backed by Graham Parker's The Rumour, Rockpile, Paul Carrack, the Doobie Brothers, Paul Schafer, Clarence Cleomons, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at various times in her career! There is a reason so many talented guys wanted to work with her, and I am not talking just about her stunning physical attributes. She's a great one!PS: Ring of Fire was co-written by Carlene's mom June and aunt Anita Carter, from June's perspective about John R. Cash of course. I highly recommend you get Anita's "Ring of Fire" offered here on amazon because she had one of the greatest soprano's that you could imagine."
Even Better 20 years later
hollybcars | Batavia, IL United States | 07/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a clerk in a record store when this first came out. I was really a rock n' roller at heart and had little regard for country music. I loved some of the stuff that was coming out of Stiff records - especially Nick Lowe. And while at first, Musical Shapes looked like just another country LP, when we opened the promo at the store and played it, we all fell in love with Carlene's "cowpunk" style. Over the years, I bought every new Carlene Carter Cd but then put them on the shelf and never really listened to them. Recently as part of my mid life crisis I started listening to Carlene again. And as much as I love "Little Love Letters" and "Little Acts of Treason", I really needed to hear Musical Shapes again. I finely got ahold of a copy and I am 19 again! With Carlene, theres's no whining or crying. She's brassey and sassy. She's tough and tender. I can't say enough about this CD. Okay I'm still warming up to the Blue Nun portion. But if you like Elvis Costello or NIck Lowe or even Tom Petty, you will love Carlene.
Get this Cd and "Little Love Letters" before they go out of print. And then, like me, you'll hope that CC starts recording and touring again."
Thymiane | Oak Ridge, TN United States | 01/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, someone who perceives to be to the South of the infamous "Line."There are those who want to bash such vibrant beginnings. When Something beautiful and intangible had simply and suddenly erupted, like Venus from the Half Shell & they missed that "episode" ....... They are quite incorrect in their grievious delusions. (i.e. get a clue.) Carlene was brilliant far before she was even noticed by others. She had this sense of South mixed with some kick-derierre lyrics and music. She was never accepted by any side, greatly. Perhaps the British, but do they count? (Let me look into this French thing, however.)Carlene Carter did something that gave credibility to country that rocks. She was and is both. (Perhaps "Iron Man" on her next covers album? How about "Cruel to Be Kind"?)Give her credit. Her first albums were shoe-string budget, yet gave the basis of her Music. Stop being persnickety about their production/performance/precision/perfection. Because they were brilliant.And by the way, I never gave a sad rating to her other albums. I merely gave her what she deserves from a strange and uncertain time .......EmmyLou and Carlene gave and extended to us legacies.I have found EmmyLou ....... but Carlene - is Carlene - still."
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Demon Records reissued Carlene Carter's Musical Shapes and Blue Nun on one disc in 1992. Neither album is straight country - with their propulsive rhythms and jangling guitars, they exhibit the influence of her then-current husband Nick Lowe - but Musical Shapes is one of her best records, and worth getting in any form. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG(Review for 'Musical Shapes'): This is Carter's masterpiece to date. Great songs and production that could easily fit into today's climate of country radio. - Cub Koda, AMG(Review for 'Blue Nun'): Carter's American label passed on this one, and it's too bad. While it's not one of her best albums, when she's on, she's dead on. It's interesting from a historical point because it somewhat chronicles her musical associations with former-husband Nick Lowe and Paul Carrack (ex-Ace, Squeeze, Mike + the Mechanics). - Jim Worbois, AMG"