Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Beautiful Not Yet

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Beautiful Not Yet

Article excerpt


Carrie Newcomer (Available Light, 2016)

Listening to Carrie Newcomer's 16th solo album, The Beautiful Not Yet, I flash back to sitting in my parents' Dodge Omni hatchback and surveying a stack of 8-tracks to pass the time. Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Roger Whittaker all stared at me in that earnest, sunny, especially nonthreatening way folk artists posed for their album cover photos.

Newcomer is likewise unabashedly hopeful and God-searching. This is the polished Friday night open-mic music of a Sunday school teacher, the one who tells you during the difficult times that yes, in fact, "You can do this hard thing."

These are useful mantras to tell yourself, but for the most part the lyrics lead you in the exact direction you expect. There's not enough surprise or tension for them to rise high enough to be poetry, which many of her fans claim the songs to be.

Without some rough edges or a little darkness to them, these songs bleed together. …

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