Alan Jacobs


Lindsay Zoladz in the NYT:

They traded a few lines and harmonized beautifully on the chorus — her tone opalescent, his bringing some grit — but Combs never overshadowed Chapman. He knew that in that moment, no one could. Something about the way he looked at her said it all: His eyes shone with irrepressible respect. Here was a grown man, an assured performer who sells out stadiums, visibly trembling before the sight and the sound of the folk singer Tracy Chapman. […]

The song, during Chapman and Combs’s five-minute performance, felt incredibly spacious — larger than the limitations of genre, welcoming and expansive enough to hold every single person it had ever touched, regardless of the markers of identity that so often divide us. It was a rare reminder of music’s unique ability to obliterate external differences. “Fast Car” is about something more internal and universal. It is a song about the wants and needs that make us human: the desire to be happy, to be loved, to be free.