Tracy Chapman

Crossroads

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Tracy Chapman's self-titled debut album of 1988 was an incredibly tough act to follow, but the folk-rocker delivered an inspired sophomore effort with Crossroads. While it falls short of the excellence of her stunning debut, Crossroads is a heartfelt, honest offering that's well worth obtaining. Dedicated to South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, the anthemic "Freedom Now" is one of Chapman's best protest songs. Equally compelling is "Subcity," a lament for the poor, disenfranchised underclass that stands on the outside of the American Dream looking in. Much of the time, however, Chapman isn't going for immediacy -- introspective and subtle songs like "Bridges," "Be Careful of My Heart," and "All That You Have Is Your Soul" require at least several listens in order to be fully appreciated.

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