The sticker affixed to the initial pressings of Brandi Carlile's eponymous 2005 major-label debut trumpet that the singer/songwriter is an "artist to watch" by Rolling Stone, Interview, and Paste. Those accolades, combined with cover artwork that captures her at her cutest -- as if she were a cousin of Rachael Leigh Cook -- might make some listeners suspicious of Carlile, since the cumulative effect makes her seem like a pretty, prepackaged creation. One listen to her absolutely terrific debut immediately dispels these notions. From the moment "Follow" seeps out of the speakers, it's clear that Carlile isn't a prefabricated pop star. For starters, she's a powerful, captivating vocalist, clearly influenced by Jeff Buckley, but lacking the mannered theatrical histrionics that could occasionally creep into his work. She's quieter and intimate, slowly pulling listeners into her tales of love and loss. While her words and topics may not be bracing, her music is: it's rich, warm, and seductive, familiar in its form and sound, yet sounding fresh, even original, particularly in how her folky singer/songwriter foundation blends with her art-pop inclinations. Her music ebbs and flows with long, languid melodies, strummed acoustic guitars, and her surging vocals, creating an album that's ideal for introspective, late-night listening. Carlile is supported by guitarist Tim Hanseroth and his bassist twin brother Phil (they're billed as "The Twins" in the production credits for the album), and they're not mere support, they're collaborators, co-writing several songs (Tim writes "What Can I Say" on his own), and giving the album the graceful, liquid musicality that makes it such a rewarding, addictive listen. The best thing about Brandi Carlile is that it not only doesn't sound like a debut, it sounds like a record that exists out of time and place -- which means it's not only a superb debut, it's a hell of a record by any measure.
|Label:||Red Int / Red Ink|
Performance CreditsBrandi Carlile Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Mark Pickerel Drums
Glenn Slater Keyboards
Kevin Suggs Pedal Steel Guitar
Phil Peterson Strings
Tim Hanseroth Guitar,Background Vocals
Phil Hanseroth Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Brian Macleod Drums
Jason Maybell Drums
Technical CreditsMichael Barber Executive Producer
John Goodmanson Audio Production
Aimee MacAuley Art Direction
Kip Beelman Engineer
Brandi Carlile Composer,Producer,Engineer
Tim Hanseroth Composer,Engineer
Phil Hanseroth Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brandi Carlile is terribly underrated. She has an amazing voice that is both beautiful and powerful. Her voice is what keeps you in love with her songs. The mature songwriting such as Follow and Someday Never Comes strengthens the album ever more including the great background music that fits the mood perfectly of every song. I just love Brandi's album and I am glad she was so heavily advertised on my adult alternative radio station or I would never heard of her since she is hardly spoken of anywhere else. My favorite songs, the strongest I feel, are Follow, What Can I Say, Throw It All Away, Someday Never Comes, Fall Apart Again, and In My Own Eyes. All the songs are worthwhile though. I highly recommend Brandi Carlile for I feel she will have a brilliant future in music.
Brandi Carlile has put together a debut way beyond her years, with such emotive, raw power that rates her among the best female vocalists anywhere.... right there with Lucinda Williams and Karen Berquest from Over the Rhine. Her new CD is one produced with T Bone Burnett... one can only image what's ahead!
What an artist! Not enough words to decribe how the lyrics and movements just flow throughout the entire album. I can't wait for new albums from her!!