Brandi Carlile


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Brandi Carlile (2005), 4/10
The Story (2007), 5/10
Give Up the Ghost (2009), 5/10
Bear Creek (2012), 5/10
The Firewatcher's Daughter (2015), 7/10
By the Way I Forgive You (2018), 6/10
In These Silent Days (2021), 5/10
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Seattle's singer-songwriter and producer debuted with Brandi Carlile (2005), a traditional hybrid of pop, country, folk and rock, but rose to prominence only with The Story and Losing Heart from her sophomore album The Story (2007) where she often sounds like a pupil of Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow. Covers of the songs from that album (including those by Adele, Pearl Jam, and Dolly Parton) are collected on Cover Stories (2007).

The honest folk-rock and country-rock of Give Up the Ghost (2009), with the trotting singalong Dying Day, the vibrant power-pop of Dreams, and Caroline, a ragtime-style duet with Elton John, and Bear Creek (2012), with the soulful Hard Way Home and the bombastic Rise Again, but mostly devoted to pensive elegies culminating with the keyboards-driven seven-minute Just Kids, went largely unnoticed.

The Firewatcher's Daughter (2015), with the trotting and almost euphoric Wherever is Your Heart, the vibrant and stomping The Things I regret, the tender serenade I Belong To You, and especially the stately spaghetti-western boogie The Stranger At My Door, the stormy blues-rocker Mainstream Kid and the quasi-rockabilly Alibi, resurrected her career.

By the Way I Forgive You (2018), produced by Dave Cobb, is a more philosophical work, with the solemn piano-led lied The Joke, the Joni Mitchell-esque Party Of One, the emphatic and choral Hold Out Your Hand and the elegiac Every Time I Hear That Song.

She also produced and co-composed Tanya Tucker's album While I'm Livin (2019).

She also formed the all-female quartet Highwomen with Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby that debuted with The Highwomen (2019).

Turning 40, she also wrote a memoir, "Broken Horses".

In These Silent Days (2021) contains domestic vignettes of various nature in various styles: the plaintive Billy Joel-esque Right on Time, the stately Jim Steinman-esque melodrama Sinners Saints And Fools gentle country elegies like This Time Tomorrow, catchy and breezy folk-rock ditties like You and Me on the Rock, and (best of all) the rocker Broken Horses with country twang and bluesy jamming a` la Allman Brothers.

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