I’m not what you would call a big Tracy Chapman fan, even though I’ve seen her twice in concert. Both times I saw her I was mildly disappointed for reasons that are hard to explain (e.g. I am sick of hearing her big hits like “Fast Car” and “Give Me One Reason”). I think one reason I was disappointed is that in neither show did she really do more than one or two songs from the album that I think is one of the best albums I have ever heard: Telling Stories.
Unsung Psalm, which is a simple little tune (basically just a guitar and Chapman’s vocals), is one of the most moving songs I have ever heard in my life. The words are disturbing in a way that sends chills down your spine, unless you are somehow emotionally resistant. Every other song on the album is unique, well-performed and superbly recorded. When people ask me the old ‘what five albums would you choose to have if you were stranded on a desert island,’ this is one I’d always choose. If you are a Tracy Chapman fan then you probably know about this album. But if you aren’t a big Trace Chapman fan you might want to listen to Telling Stories.