Idol Chatter

I’ve been hearing rave reviews about singer/songwriter Patty Griffin’s latest release, “Children Running Through” ever since it dropped into stores last month. So I was thrilled to have a chance this week to sit down at last and soak in Griffin’s richly textured musings about life and loss.

This album paints hauntingly provocative images with thoughtful lyrics, flawless vocals, and a mix of rockabilly and blues. “Children Running Through” is an impressive accomplishment and should move to the top of your Itunes’ wish list.

While the world described in Griffin’s songs is often a fragile, cold, and lonely place, the overall effect of her music is anything but depressing. Even though lovers leave (“You’ll Remember” and “Trapeze”) and loved ones die (“Someone Else’s Tomorrow”), Griffin clearly believes that these shadows of life only enhance those fleeting moments of beauty and joy.

In songs like “Burgundy Shoes” and “Heavenly Day” Griffin celebrates the simple moments of human connection with family. Then on more fiery tracks such as “I Don’t Ever Give Up,” Griffin rejoices in overcoming the obstacles of her past. And while moments of reconciliation and forgiveness are hard to come by (“Railroad Wings”), Griffin even finds hope and inspiration by looking heavenward in the gospel-influenced “Up to the Mountain (The MLK Song).”

“Children Running Through” reverberates with audacity, grace, and a hard-earned wisdom. It is also an early favorite for my “Best Of” list of 2007.

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