Love it, love it, LOVE IT. There you have it. Two little words, times three. I've always been better with words than numbers but even I can figure out that six words don't add up to an entire review. In fact, it spells trouble. So here goes. I really, really, really, really love Brandi Carlile. I wish I could summon up some the usual reviewer tactics such as rhyming off some musical or stylistic equivalents but honestly, comparing Carlile to just one other human would devalue her talent. Besides, I can't think of one other person she sounds like. Yup, she's unique. In the best possible way.
If someone (an editor, for example) held the literary example of a gun (the delete key, for example) to my head forcing me draw some type of comparison to another artist, I guess I could dig up the following pastiche (fancy reviewer talk for "hope the fancy reviewer talk covers up the truth which is: this reviewer can't cough up a comparison for love or money or threat of the literary example of a gun): Brandi Carlile is a throatier, lower register version of k.d. Lang's earlier dabbling into country music.
There's a definite twang to Carlile but don't go polishing your possum rifle just yet Jethro. It's not THAT kind of twang. Carlile's twang is embedded with uber coolness. And the fact that one cut includes romantic pleas to someone with the unfortunate moniker of Josephine (apologies to all the Josephines reading this, but really, what did you ever do to your parents?) still does not permit you to lump this in a burlap bag with the likes of Reba, Dolly or Carrie.
So now that I've rambled on about what The Story isn't, here's a round up of what it is: Marvelous. Magical. Unrelentingly rewarding. The production, the lyrics, the melodies, plus a voice with more satisfying undulations than a jumbo bag of Lays' Ruffles add up to a CD that fits any mood you're in or fighting your way out of.
Spoiler Alert! There's an epic-like climax in cut no.2 that'll shake the earth so hard the next generation will feel the aftershocks. And forget this season's crop of unanswered questions about such trivialities as: The Secret, The Number 23, and why no one has ever seen Marilyn Munroe and Anna Nicole Smith in the same Mensa meeting at the same time. Riddle me this folks: Why isn't every person with two ears ( though in this case, a single ear would suffice) extolling the many splendid talents of Brandi Carlile? If this is a "yet" question, rather than a "why" question, then fine, you now have a chance to make things right. (As have the musical-decision makers at Grey's Anatomy who've featured Brandi's work an unprecedented THREE times, plus The Fray, Chris Isaak and Tori Amos, for whom she's opened).
Whether you choose to sip slowly, or chug enthusiastically, this Brandi promises a warm and fuzzy feeling and a kick-ass, hangover-free afterglow…the perfect ending for The Story.