Picks and Pans Review: Time*sex*love*
Somber verging on dreary, this navel-contemplating album sounds more like a Joan Baez project from the '60s than the work of the woman responsible for such energetic, life-affirming songs as "Down at the Twist and Shout" from 1990's Shooting Straight in the Dark. The full annoying title of this, her seventh album and first since 1996, is "Time is the great gift; sex is the great equalizer; love is the great mystery." It isn't far from that sort of profundity to such overly introspective tracks as "Alone but Not Lonely" and the lugubrious "Someone Else's Prayer." Indeed if Carpenter didn't inexplicably burst into giggles at the start of an unlisted bonus track ("Going Home"), there would hardly be a hint of fun to this album. "There are moments in time that are meant to be held/ Like fragile, breakable things," she sings (in "Alone but Not Lonely"). "There are others that pass us." Pass on this.
Bottom Line: Doleful, not soulful