The wonderful One2One network gave me the opportunity to review Brandi Carlile’s new album, “Give Up the Ghost”. This was quite awesome as I’ve been a fan, lucky enough to see her in concert, and loved her last album, “The Story”.
Brandi was born in Washington State and was inspired to pick up the guitar and learn to play after seeing the Indigo Girls in concert at Lilith Fair. In the opening song of her new album, “Looking Out”, she is backed with the gorgeous harmonies of Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls. Another of her childhood idols was Elton John, and he provides smooth piano and backup vocals on Caroline, which is rollicking, fun and playful, reminding me of Elton’s own ’70’s rock.
Brandi is an extremely gifted singer/songwriter with a powerful passionate voice that is raw and soulful. She is genuine, authentic, and sings straight from her heart.
Her band includes the amazing twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth on guitar and bass (respectively), and cellist John Neumann. Together they rock.
This album includes a beautiful song about life on the road “Dying Day” which is one of my favorites. Carlile is never one to hide feelings as on “Looking Out” which is about feeling disappointed and alone. “That Year”, she said she wrote for a close friend who committed suicide when they were both 16. Really moving, almost fragile.
I also really love “Oh Dear” which has a sound reminiscent of both the Beatles and Queen.
If I had to compare Brandi to anyone, I would say that she reminds me of Patsy Cline and The Indigo Girls, with a touch of K.T. Tunstall.
I would say her songs are alternative folk rock.
Brandi has incredible phrasing and an amazing range to her voice. It drops into a growl, then it lifts and it soars – unique, strong and soulful.
The highest compliment I can give her is that she’s totally here, present, with a voice that is authentic, gritty, and hauntingly beautiful.
I highly recommend “Give Up The Ghost”, and, also, if you ever get the opportunity to catch her live, she’s just amazing.
Check out her new album on Amazon and ITunes!