Meg Christian

The Best of Meg Christian

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Until she became a follower of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda and turned to recording devotional music, Meg Christian was a leading light of the women's music movement. Indeed, her debut album, I Know You Know, was the first to be issued by Olivia Records, an independent label devoted to the movement, in 1974. On that LP and its follow-ups, Face the Music (1977), Turning It Over (1981), and From the Heart (1984), and on the duo concert album Meg/Cris at Carnegie Hall (1983), shared with Cris Williamson, Christian performed singer/songwriter folk-rock with a sound similar to that of mainstream contemporaries Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor, but with lyrics (her own and others') that, while no less confessional, had a lesbian rather than heterosexual orientation. With that one differentiation (which sometimes came down to little more than a change in pronouns), however, Christian was very much in the early-'70s singer/songwriter style. She sang songs of self-doubt and self-actualization, fretted about the ups and downs of her relationships, and celebrated her orientation. She did so with a rich, soulful voice tinged with a North Carolina accent, usually in the contralto range, singing over an acoustic guitar and sometimes a few other instruments, gently played. This compilation picks out the highlights of her catalog, from the humorous "Ode to a Gym Teacher" to the reflective "Southern Home," which finds her embracing the region she left, albeit without actually returning there, and "Look Within," a realization that personal fulfillment will not be found in outside events. The reasons for Christian's preeminence in women's music can be found in the songs contained here.

blue highlight denotes track pick