This Easter I was pleasantly surprised by a fantastic new album: Brandi Carlile's "The Story." Although the album came out a few weeks ago, I discovered her during the last couple of minutes of her performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Although I was laying out on the couch with my wife--teetering between sleep and awakedness--her performance was compelling enough to open my eyes long enough to take note, get up and go to iTunes to download. Ahhh! The beauty of technology: no more list of CDs that I need to pick up at more and more scarce and sparse record stores.
I'm certain she sang her single, "The Story," on Leno. It's a beautiful composition with a sweet melody that starts off soft and mighty purdy, as she gracefully strums her guitar as though she were singing a newborn to sleep. She then roars into an impassioned, heavy electric guitar-backed howl that's a little reminiscent of Sheryl Crow's chorus on "If It Makes You Happy ." But don't worry, the comparison to Crow ends there.
I won't try to categorize her, but I will say she is what she eats--er listens to. Her influences are Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and Patsy Cline. And if you could imagine a musical child of these three, you have Carlile.
Her new album is her sophomore major label release and she's on the quick up and up. It's not too shabby when master producer T. Bone Burnett agrees to do your album. The result is phenomenal. I downloaded the single because it's just so good. Then, I started sampling the other songs hoping there would be a few other gems. As I started downloading one by one, I knew the inevitable would happen. I ended up paying almost $13 for downloading the album song by song, instead of downloading the album in one shot for $7.99. Please don't make the same mistake. As for me, it was the best $13 I've spent on a single CD since way back in the day of Tower Records. Ahhh, technology!