This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
“Time is the great gift; sex is the great equalizer; love is the great mystery,” says Mary Chapin Carpenter, filling in those titular asterisks and summing up the subject matter of her seventh album and first CD in five years.
If she seems a little lofty, well, there’s no way around it — Time*Sex*Love* is meant to be a great artistic statement. Following in the footsteps of other Nashville mainstays like Rodney Crowell and Dolly Parton, Carpenter eschews commercial considerations and delivers 14 songs straight from a heart. Make that a broken heart — melancholy, passionate ballads with rainy-day melodies and throaty, hushed vocals dominate this set. It’s a consistently gorgeous, heartstring-tugging work, if a bit of a downer. But then, whaddaya expect from a great artistic statement?