12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a Far Western note of plaintiveness running through the tracks of Brandi Carlile’s 2006 self-titled debut, and critics deservedly gushed over this Washington State-born artist’s ache-wracked vocals and sparse, heart-tugging songwriting. Fundamentally, her first album is a country release — but Brandi Carlile’s stark production and often bleak tone is as far from the genre’s current mainstream as Nashville is from Spokane. As a singer, Carlile invites comparisons with a young Bonnie Raitt, delivering her lyrics with a bluesy throb accented with keening falsetto touches. Tracks like “What Can I Say” (written by co-producer Phil Hanseroth), “In My Own Eyes” and “Fall Apart Again” evoke late-night barroom reveries and lonesome drives across empty landscapes, and the wounded bravado of “Happy” and quiet desolation of “Tragedy” (the latter a torchy ballad recalling k.d. laing’s early work) are especially haunting. Carlile strikes a more aggressive stance on “Closer to You,” riding atop a galloping guitar line. Worth special mention is her darkly reflective cover of Elton John’s “Sixty Years On,” included as a bonus track.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a Far Western note of plaintiveness running through the tracks of Brandi Carlile’s 2006 self-titled debut, and critics deservedly gushed over this Washington State-born artist’s ache-wracked vocals and sparse, heart-tugging songwriting. Fundamentally, her first album is a country release — but Brandi Carlile’s stark production and often bleak tone is as far from the genre’s current mainstream as Nashville is from Spokane. As a singer, Carlile invites comparisons with a young Bonnie Raitt, delivering her lyrics with a bluesy throb accented with keening falsetto touches. Tracks like “What Can I Say” (written by co-producer Phil Hanseroth), “In My Own Eyes” and “Fall Apart Again” evoke late-night barroom reveries and lonesome drives across empty landscapes, and the wounded bravado of “Happy” and quiet desolation of “Tragedy” (the latter a torchy ballad recalling k.d. laing’s early work) are especially haunting. Carlile strikes a more aggressive stance on “Closer to You,” riding atop a galloping guitar line. Worth special mention is her darkly reflective cover of Elton John’s “Sixty Years On,” included as a bonus track.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
195 Ratings
195 Ratings
raulrey0 ,

Transformational

Buy her music and believe.

regency08 ,

An original.

Saw Brandi live when she first came out and opened up for Jamie Cullum. From the first note, I knew she was an original. I prefer this album to the newer ones but it's great to see Brandi grow into such a confident & charismatic performer.

k tibbs ,

Best Tracks Are Not The Most Popular

Great voice. But there are some tracks where she could stand to rein in the power of her vocals. "Happy" might be the best song I've heard in months. "Fall Apart Again" is another catchy, pop tune worth having. Proves yet again that the best tracks are not necessarily the most popular.

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