Corinne Chapman - Dirty Pretty Things
2010, Corinne Chapman
You're about to wonder where Corinne Chapman has been all your life. Blending a smooth and powerful country/folk voice with a compelling story-teller's style, Chapman charms you from the opening notes of her latest release, Dirty Pretty Things. Growing up in a house where her dad listened to classic country and her mom to "hippie rock", Chapman took those influences to heart and plays a style that is distinct from either but fully informed by both. Dirty Pretty Things is Chapman's first album in five years, and the first with producer Ken Croomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo).
Dirty Pretty Things opens with "Mine", a pop/country autobiographical about a small-time girl who yearns for a wider horizon. Chapman acknowledges a love of home and parents but simply doesn't see her path staying in a small town. This song has an infectious chorus that will stick with you, and Chapman has a voice full of color and character that is memorable. "Be Good To Me" is a solid pop/country ballad; a bit bland but a solid album track. "Dirty Pretty Things" is an earthy anthem for those who recognize that true beauty isn't always seen on the first glance. "Alone" is a kiss off tune to a boyfriend who left her brokenhearted and then tried to weasel his way back in. Chapman captures the mixture of anger and self-assurance perfectly here.
"Paper Doll" is a country-rock hybrid with anthem potential; a song of self-assurance that declares Chapman won't be dominated or changed by a man. Chapman mixes a classic sound with a strong message that manages to sound like a positive affirmation of self rather than angry rant or song of revenge. Dirty Pretty Things closes with "Weeds", a modern take on the hippie worldview that grew out of the 1960's. Chapman indicates respect for the ideas of the generation even if she doesn't always like their ways. It's a nice, positive turn with a folk/country feel.
Corinne Chapman has a distinctive voice and style that draws from folk and country roots and stamps it with a modern singer/songwriter pastiche. Chapman deals in a brand of comfortable honesty on Dirty Pretty Things, like she's telling stories to an old friend. Dirty Pretty Things is charmingly real, and Corinne Chapman has the makings of a great performer and songwriter.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Corinne Chapman at www.corinnechapman.com or www.myspace.com/corinnechapman. Dirty Pretty Things is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The EP is also available via iTunes.