Brandi Carlile & “The Story” –
Have a rough day. A day at work or school where things just all seem to go wrong, and everyone’s unkind, and you really get to wondering if you’re meant to be doing a damned thing you’re doing and why you’re even here at all.
Then go home. If anyone is expecting anything of you there, tell them you need just a little time to yourself. 12 minutes. 45 minutes. An hour if you can spare it.
Find a cave. A space you can be alone to play a CD, or just a few songs of a CD if that’s all time allows you … whether it’s
And then put on Brandi Carlile’s CD – just released – called The Story.
You will then see why I am calling this one of the most intense CDs -- meaning from start to finish, not just one or two great songs -- that I’ve heard in years.
I’ll put it this way: sitting there in your cave, still feeling loaded down by that hell of a day, Brandi’s voice, and that piano and guitar, and that band – but especially Brandi’s voice – will grab your soul by the hand. Doesn’t matter if your soul is shy or grumpy or disabled, she’ll grab it by the hand and soon have you flying. Within just the first song or two, she’ll shake that rough day off and have you soaring to beautiful places … and somehow feeling better about yourself and the world again.
Like only the rarest of musicians and their music can do.
What makes it all even more amazing is that Brandi Carlile was born in 1981. She’s just a young’un from Ravensdale, Washington. (Whenever younger artists invoke this much power and transformative ability in their works, it’s just another sign that there’s a greater beyond than the stage of life we’re living on … often without their own awareness of it, they’re carrying bits of this beyond down to us. But I digress.)
This is Brandi’s second full CD release, and it’s even better – quite a feat for a sophomore album – than her incredible first self-titled one, Brandi Carlile. (The song “Throw It All Away” from the first CD may still and always may be her most powerful ever, though.)
When the first album came out in 2005, Rolling Stone Magazine called her one of "10 Artists to Watch.” They definitely got that right. And though her major record label hasn’t supported her with a mega-marketing campaign (she’s not hip-hop, after all), on the sheer basis of her intensity and talent – that’s right, they DO still sign some real talent – she has appeared
If you still aren’t convinced that Brandi and her new CD The StoryThe Story, well then:
Mix the voices of Patsy Cline, kd lang, Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, Aimee Mann, and Melissa Etheridge, roll them with bits of the sounds of Roy Orbison, Radiohead, Indigo Girls, U2, Elton John, and Simon & Garfunkel, have the brilliant T Bone Burnett produce, and there you kind of sort of have an idea of what you’ll be getting with Brandi Carlile.
Which is all to say, though influences and resemblances are a’ plenty, Brandi and her intense sound are one-of-a-kind. And even if country is not your thing, or alt rock is not your thing, or folk is not your thing, she’ll make them all your thing because – like the greats, which she is destined to become with a few more albums like this – she transcends all that.
Even if you don’t listen to music much, even if you haven’t invested in a new CD in years, get The Story and let yourself go into it … and rise because of it.