Subway Series

Christine Lavin

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Subway Series Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Singer/songwriter Christine Lavin has two distinct approaches to folk music: she can deliver humorous commentaries on the absurdity of modern life, or detailed observations on contemporary relationships. On Subway Series, a live recording for broadcast, she comfortably wears both hats. The album kicks off with "Waiting for the 'B' Train," the epic of a dog -- or is it a wig? -- lying injured on the subway tracks. "Good Thing He Can't Read My Mind" explores the joys of participating in pastimes one really doesn't like for the sake of love. She mischievously suggests that there may be individuals in the audience who have made a sacrifice to attend the show. There's an inspired singalong on the classic "Sensitive New Age Guys," and one shouldn't miss "Shopping Cart of Love: The Play." The serious songs also get their moment, with "The Moment Slipped Away" explaining how people miss their opportunity to speak to and help one another because of various (and not very good) excuses. Certain songs like "If We Had No Moon" seem less than fully realized. The intro and performance last nearly nine minutes, and the lyrics are an odd combination of lecture and philosophy. One of the best things about Subway Series is the between-song patter by Lavin, who is clearly in her element as she talks, tells stories, and jokes with the audience. The audience enjoys every minute of it, and this infectious attitude spills over to the listener. Subway Series is a good addition to Lavin's catalog and will be appreciated by fans and lovers of clever folk music.

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