With Love & Circumstance Carrie Rodriguez demonstrates (if you weren't already convinced by her spectacular sophomore album, She Ain't Me) that she has fully matured into a confident and commanding solo artist, in spite of (or perhaps, because of) the fact that the new album consists entirely of covers. Like Emmylou Harris with her 1995 masterpiece, Wrecking Ball, Carrie mines and polishes gems of other songwriters, delivering them in her own unique style. Carrie's voice is sweet and relaxed with a natural twang, perfectly matched to a soundtrack that is both ethereal (similar to, but not to the same extent as Carrie's first two solo albums and Harris' Wrecking Ball) and rootsy. As an interpreter of other people's songs, Carrie doesn't press to match or outdo the originals, but, instead, sounds comfortable in her own skin. The theme of the album is, well, love and circumstance, and Carrie does a fine job of selecting and sequencing the song cycle, choosing a piece from the public domain (well, actually her father, David's, re-write of a traditional folk song), living and deceased legends (Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams), some of the best contemporary songwriters (Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt), the new wave of indie folk (M. Ward) and Latino (Polo Urias popularized a song of Carrie's great aunt). This is an album that you do not want to miss.