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Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days

October 11, 2021
In These Silent Days is the seventh studio album by Brandi Carlile, released via Low Country Sound/Elektra Records on October 1, 2021

My introduction to Brandi was purchasing her album The Story on CD in 2007. I loved the album and its titular song, but somehow it did not make me a fan. I pretty much ignored her despite her success in the Twin Cities market. What caught my attention was her performance of “The Joke” at the 61st Grammys (2019) – it was stunning.

The Grammy performance convinced my wife and I to see her live at the Minnesota State Fair later that year. I have seen a lot of live shows and this was a Top 10 show. We bought T-shirts and became fans.

What is Brandi? Is she folk, Americana, rock, pop, county, etc. My conclusion is she is classic rock. Despite her affiliation with Joni Mitchell, I think the more accurate template is Elton John. The songs are written by a team, she has had a consistent band over the years, she performs in dramatic arrangements with lots of dynamics and she is a charismatic front woman. It doesn’t matter – she makes my favorite kind of music: good music.

And so we come to the follow up to a very successful album, By the Way, I Forgive You. Always a tightrope walk for an artist. The follow up is great – she has defeated the odds with a worthy follow up. I should say “they” vs “she” as I see Brandi Carlile as a band vs solo act: Brandi, the twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth and a stable touring band.

Carlile returns with the same production team as her last album: Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. Cobb has worked his magic all over alternative Nashville: The Highwomen, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and John Prine to name a few.

Lyrically Carlile deals with adult relationships – this is my new working definition of country music. Musically there is Elton histrionics, Joni pop folk, Bonnie Raitt swagger and those classic Brandi and the Twins harmonies. Nothing new here from Carlile, just the usual high quality craft.

Spinning Brandi Carlile’s In These Silent Days

My hot take would be that In These Silent Days is better than By the Way, I Forgive You. By the Way, I Forgive You had a few slow spots, whereas every song on In These Silent Days is perfect. Brandi seems fully comfortable and confident in the skin of the rock star she has become. She believes in the truth that is Brandi Carlile. Can’t wait to see her play this batch of new songs live – hurry up Brandi and announce a proper tour!


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