Nanci Griffith - Hearts in Mind

New Door/Um

Music Reviews Nanci Griffith
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Nanci Griffith - Hearts in Mind

Given that all is fair in love and war, it seems justified that both subjects get equal attention from Nanci Griffith’s majestic vocals on Hearts In Mind, the latest chapter in her not-quite-country, not-quite-folk tradition. Hearts is an exploration of Griffith’s pensive melancholy, from the desolate “Back When Ted Loved Sylvia” to the introspective “Before.” She’s at her most genuine on “Rise To the Occasion,” as she settles into a comfortable groove with guest vocalist Mac MacAnally (if that name sounds familiar, it should: he joined Griffith on one of her early songs, “Gulf Coast Highway”).

But Griffith doesn’t stray far from the political in “Heart Of Indochine” and “Old Hanoi,” both surely influenced by her recent trips through Vietnam and Cambodia with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Griffith plays her strong opinions against emotional reflection, balancing her Heart deftly between the two.