Story

Story

4.8 15
by Brandi Carlile
     
 

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Seattle based singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has a powerful voice and puts it to use elaborating her equally potent lyrics. Backed by twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, she presents an intriguing combination of Indigo Girls-style folk pop with Melissa Etheridge's rock intensity, made particularly manifest on The Story's title track. Buffeted by ringingSee more details below

Overview

Seattle based singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has a powerful voice and puts it to use elaborating her equally potent lyrics. Backed by twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, she presents an intriguing combination of Indigo Girls-style folk pop with Melissa Etheridge's rock intensity, made particularly manifest on The Story's title track. Buffeted by ringing electric guitar chords, Carlile goes from a plaintive croon to a full-throated roar, her voice cracking dramatically at the song's climax. No, Brandi Carlile is not for the faint of heart. It's easy to hear, in her second album for Sony, the dedication of an artist who is well accustomed to recording and performing on her own terms, as Carlile did for years prior to her 2005 debut. Producer T-Bone Burnett, attracted to homespun talents like Carlile's like a moth to a campfire, crafts an honest and dynamic soundbed for The Story, from the guitar-churning guitar rock of the title song to the stripped-down harmonies of "Have You Ever." "Turpentine" makes the most of Carlile's huge voice, which slides easily into a crooner's falsetto, recalling Loretta Lynn and even Roy Orbison, and lyrics detailing a relationship that's hit the skids yet endures out of habit. She's joined on "Cannonball" by the Indigo Girls, returning the favor after her appearance on Despite Our Differences. Consider it a passing of the torch -- Brandi Carlile's story has just begun.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
One of the most appealing qualities of Brandi Carlile's debut album was that it had an ethereal quality, unattached to style or sound or time. Since she was a singer/songwriter playing an acoustic guitar, there were undoubtedly elements of folk, but Carlile's songwriting was elliptical and elastic, giving her plenty of room to indulge her powerful voice, a voice that had echoes of Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke. This gave Brandi Carlile a spacey, dreamy quality, but for as good as it was, the album didn't achieve much attention initially apart from some rave reviews. Still, Carlile and the label slowly worked the record, getting some songs onto Grey's Anatomy as they laid the groundwork for her second album, The Story, which was designed to be her big breakthrough. Producer T-Bone Burnett -- a singer/songwriter in his own right, but better known as the man behind O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the man who helmed records for Counting Crows, Roy Orbison, Gillian Welch, and his wife Sam Phillips -- was brought aboard to help streamline some of Carlile's eccentricities without watering down her music, a task he performs admirably on The Story. Part of the streamlining process involves accentuating the arty undercurrents that ran throughout her debut -- a move that highlights her ambition and helps push her out of the rootless ether and into something that sounds distinctly contemporary. In other words, Carlile's Buckley and Yorke influences are brought to the forefront here -- not just in her soaring, neo-operatic vocals, either, but also how her writing is at once more brooding, dramatic, and open-ended than it was on the debut -- which makes her sound modern, if perhaps a bit too indebted to her idols. If Carlile openly wears her influences on her sleeve on The Story, she is nevertheless the rare songwriter who can hold her own with such idiosyncratic talents. Indeed, there's an earthiness to her music that keeps it from floating into willfully abstract territory, and if Burnett's dark, burnished production is a shade too dour -- this broods like it was 1995 -- it nevertheless is appropriate, capturing the mournful qualities of Carlile's songs and voice, along with the muscle the twin Hanseroth brothers bring as her support. The album's only flaw is that it's perhaps a little too monochromatic, a little too somber and sober in its presentation; a slight glimmer of sunlight or a dose of humor would have given this record some needed breathing room. That said, this dark, roiling collection fulfills the promise of her remarkable debut, offering resounding confirmation that Carlile is a singular talent.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/03/2007
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0886970080224
catalogNumber:
5003190
Rank:
9020

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brandi Carlile   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
Keith Ciancia   Keyboards
Amy Ray   Vocals
Emily Saliers   Vocals
David Palmer   Keyboards
Tim Hanseroth   Guitar,Background Vocals
Phil Hanseroth   Bass,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

T Bone Burnett   Producer
Greg Latterman   Management
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Glenn Matullo   Engineer
Paul Ackling   Guitar Techician
Michelle Holme   Art Direction
Stacy Parrish   Engineer
Brandi Carlile   Composer
Tim Hanseroth   Composer
Phil Hanseroth   Composer
Cathie Bleck   Illustrations
Mark Cunningham   Management

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