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Our Bright Future by Tracy Chapman
Released: Nov 2008
Label: Elektra Records
At first glance, Chapman's eighth studio album has a positive name, but the line, taken from the title song, turns out to be: "Our bright future/ Is in our past." Fact is, Chapman could be singing "Happy Birthday" and you'd be cutting your wrists instead of any cake. While not exactly dirges, the 11 cuts here, marked by faintly ascending Dylan-style organs and Chapman's quiet picking, sound prayed more than sung, lending them a somber gravitas. "A Theory" and lead single "Sing For You" combine all the best elements of being depressed into song form. Don't have fun.
Mike McGuirk

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