The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
In 2005 Brandi Carlile released her debut album to critical acclaim. It got rave reviews from the critics because of her unique sound and dark but powerful voice. While the album was good there was one general problem with it; it wasn’t mainstream accessible. Yes there are arguments that all good music is mainstream accessible, but that’s not necessarily true. Carlile’s debut was extremely stripped down and basically an acoustic disc. That’s been done by singer/songwriters before and that’s why no one apart from the music snobs caught on to her stuff, because if you just listen to it for a minute, like most people usually do then you won’t find anything different. Columbia stuck with her though and in March she released “The Story.” With the story Carlile worked with producer T-Bone Burnett, who had the goal to make the music more accessible but not doing so too much that it compromised Carlile’s creativity. For the most part he succeeded with “The Story.” The production on the first 5 songs is some of the best that I’ve heard on an acoustic-type disc. The production on the disc couples perfectly with Carlile’s voice, and that’s key. Production and talent aside this disc is what it is. The first five tracks are outstanding. If the rest of the disc were like the first five tracks this album would be one of the best by a singer songwriters, but that’s not the case. “Late Morning Lullaby”, “The Story”, “Turpentine”, “My Song”, and “Wasted”, are easily the five best tracks on the record. Not to say that the rest of the albums bad; there’s just a big drop off from track five to the rest of the disc. “The Story” is an excellent sophomore release from Brandi Carlile. She has the voice, the talent, and the song writing skills to become the elite female singer/songwriter today. Her voice is more powerful than Sheryl Crow’s and Melissa Etheridge’s and in spots the raw power of it can be compared to Janis Joplin. With that kind of talent and ability, look for a lot more from Brandi Carlile.