Artist: Brandi Carlile
Genre: Folk(Sony Music)
Reviewer: CHESTER CHIN
WHEN it comes to songs that feature minimal production, probably no one does it better than folk rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.
Since breaking into the scene with her self-titled debut album in 2005, the Washington native has stayed relatively true to the traditional inclinations of folk music.
The folksy trajectory continues on Carlile’s fourth studio album, Bear Creek. The record is tinged with endearing rusticity, evident on tracks such as Hard Way Home and Keep Your Heart Young.
On the former, the singer adds a little charming country swagger when she sings “So take a picture of the one you love and put it in a locket/Go dig up your time capsule and the blueprints for your rocket.”
The honest-to-goodness undertone pretty much runs throughout the album.
However, Carlile sets aside nostalgic girl-next-door in favour of brooding rocker chick on 100. While the shift of sound here adds a touch of versatility to a record mostly occupied by simple melodies, the change pretty much ruins the collective, breezy sing-along dynamic of the album.
However, Carlile provides a deft save on A Promise To Keep. With simple songwriting that tugs at your heartstrings, the track is easily one of the album’s best.
There’s just a sense of unassuming innocence to the singer’s warm vocals that draws you into her songs. And it’s this sort of sincerity that lifts Bear Creek from candid to compelling.