Friday, July 28, 2006

Brandi Carlile, Harp CD review, 2006

Those last four words of the review make me cringe a little, and not just because of Lance. Oh, well, you do what you can.

Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile

Red Ink

It's not promising: "Brandi." But one listen reveals an artist who probably never dotted that "i" with a little heart. Like her name, Carlile's music seems to have its origins in that eclectic period of pop radio between 1974 and 1984: On the opener, "Follow," she starts out sounding like Emmylou Harris but quickly morphs into something more like Freddie Mercury. The 23-year-old has a fine hand with a song as well: "Happy" pairs lyrics like "I'm happy/Can't you see" with music and a delivery that prove the opposite. Sometimes she goes overboard, into hair-band-vocalist territory, but mostly she purveys top-notch, unfussy pop songs with a rock sensibility. She's a little like the wonderful LP--and a lot like Sheryl Crow with balls.

By Pamela Murray Winters

First printed in Jan/Feb 2006

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