Well, it's been quite some time since I've felt moved
enough to buy any new music, much less write a review. Brandi Carlile's new disc, 'The Story', has,
thankfully, broken that long drought for me.
Ms. Carlile is an amazing new talent with a voice that
will impress even the most hardened of nay-sayers
(ahem, such as yours truly)... a voice that borrows
from so many predecessors that it's at once
refreshingly new, yet as comfortable as an old shoe.
Imagine a combination of Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison,
(the girl can split a note and jump an octave like the
best yodelers, yet there's no yodeling here), the
edginess and raspiness of a Bonnie Tyler or Kim Carnes
(remember "Betty Davis Eyes"?), the pure beauty of
Emmylou Harris, and the jazz-tinged Ricki Lee Jones
and Joni Mitchell. Carlile's vocal abilitiy is the
true star here, and truly impressive.
She is also a great songwriter and acoustic guitarist. She writes the bulk of the 13 songs here, and shares
the balance of the writing with one, or both, of the
brothers Hanscroth (Phil plays bass, Tim on lead
guitar, both on backing vocals). And man, do these
songs run the gamut: a heady brew of folk and country
rock that's as soft as a cloud at times and all
stomping electric mosh at others - often in the same
Guests include The Indigo Girls on harmony, and the
legendary T Bone Burnett produces. The sound is
crystal clear, the arrangements perfectly engaging,
the use of solo and group dynamics set just right
within each song.
The first single is the lovely "Late Morning
Lullabye", but my faves include the title cut (just
about the perfect song to my ears), "Wasted", "Have
You Ever", "Josephine", "Until I Die", "DownPour",
"Shadow on the Wall" and the album's closer "Again
Today" (there are 13 songs on this disc, so I guess
most are my favorites, which says a heck of alot about
the quality of tunes here! I'm not easily pleased!).
It's been a long time, too long, since I've been
impressed with any new releases at all, much less this
impressed. A marvelous album all the way through!
Brandi Carlile will be around for a long and stellar
career. She's the real deal, and that voice is to die
for! So much talent wrapped up in one person - the
mind boggles! Find it and buy it - very highly