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Pieta Brown Sticks to Her Roots in 'Remember'
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Pieta Brown Sticks to Her Roots in 'Remember'
Pieta Brown Sticks to Her Roots in 'Remember'
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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Singer/songwriter Pieta Brown grew up in simple settings in rural Iowa and Nebraska. Her new album, "Remember the Sun," finds her far away from that upbringing as she tries to make sense of a complicated modern world.

Our critic, Meredith Ochs, has this review.

(Soundbite of song "Rollin Down The Track")

Ms. PIETA BROWN (Singer and Songwriter): (Singing) I'll see you in the morning. I'll see you tonight in my dreams.

MEREDITH OCHS: The songs on Pieta Brown's new CD are in perpetual motion, but it's the motion of a gentle river or maybe a slow rolling freight train. With a voice that sounds like it's about to burst through a translucent skin, Brown's loping rhythms carry you in and out of the twilight and maybe wondering which of her lyric images are real and which ones are a dream.

(Soundbite of song "Rollin Down The Track")

Ms. BROWN: (Singing) Oh, you are an angel and you played the devil, too. You've played your heart out and you've played it through and through. You aced the runners, you left them in a daze. You're rollin' down the track.

OCHS: "Remember the Sun" conveys a feel of 21st century unease, a murky sort of dab about the state of the world. Brown's world is one of uncertainty, emotional slippery slopes, environmental decline and a specter of war hovering over us all. Friends and acquaintances disappear into shadows. And she tries to pull them back into her life with songs like this one.

(Soundbite of song "Song For A Friend")

Ms. BROWN: (Singing) The whistle blows a fire so we can go home. The heart comes last, so you don't go alone. Just a song for a friend, I hope we'll meet again. And I met you in a dream, you were on your own, holding out your hand, telling me to hold on. Just a song for a friend and I hope I'll meet again because when I saw you in the rain I didn't catch your name.

OCHS: When Pieta Brown really starts to wonder how to make sense of modern life on her new CD, she turns to one of country music's iconic women - Loretta Lynn. Brown is brave to admit that she's still unsure of how to have both a career and a home life. She finds solace in the music of Lynn, who raised a family of six kids and still managed to become a country music star.

(Soundbite of song "In My Mind I Was Talkin' to Loretta")

Ms. BROWN: (Singing) Just what's a woman supposed to do? The momma(ph) and her lover break down undercover (unintelligible) and make a living too. In my mind, I was talking to Loretta.

OCHS: Pieta Brown longs for peace on Earth, but can barely find peace in her own mind. And that's what makes her new CD so good. Brown reels of observations that seem like quick snapshots from a car window, but within them lies a relentless search for balance. Brown is looking for that place between light and dark, between stability and freedom. But she already possesses the self-awareness that even freedom comes with its own set of chains.

(Soundbite of song "Are You Free?")

Ms. BROWN: (Singing) Over and over the story goes, from beginning to end, from death to a rose.

SIEGEL: The new CD from Pieta Brown is called "Remember the Sun." Our reviewer is Meredith Ochs.

(Soundbite of song "Are You Free?")

Mr. BROWN: (Singing) From a window (unintelligible) gaze. I'm free. From a keeper of sorrows to a laugh among friends…

NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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