Oct 17, 2009

Brandi Carlile: Give Up The Ghost

Give Up The Ghost is Brandi's third album and yet it's the first time I've heard her. I am grateful to the One2One Network for introducing me to this great musician and asking if I'd like to review her music. Carlile is soulful, pensive, unpredictable, raspy and creative, what I call "Starbucks Music," which I love: Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson, Sonya Kitchell, Lisa Hannigan, Adele, etc.
Brandi and "the twins" (her band -- twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth as well as Josh Neumann, cellist) worked on this record for more than a year. They collaborated with several guest musicians, including drummers Victor Indrizzo and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Elton John, and Pete Thomas (The Attractions), giving each song a unique sound and differentiating this album from her previous two. It was fun for me to listen and try to guess which musicians were featured in which songs. Most surprising to me was "Caroline" with Elton John.

"Brandi has an amazing voice," says Elton John, "She's a great songwriter and has a tremendous career ahead of her."

I'm a huge Elton John fan, but his voice sounds so different in this duet, I almost didn't recognize him. It's beautiful and original.
Here's the tracklist, but let me say up front my favorite is "Dreams," Errrr... maybe "Oh Dear," it's a toss-up.

Looking Out
Dying Day
Pride & Joy (featuring a string arrangement by Paul Buckmaster)
Dreams (possibly my favorite)
That Year (simple tune, challenging lyrics, heart-stirring)
Caroline (Elton John on piano and vocals)
Before It Breaks
I Will (a downer)
If There Was No You (cute, gentle song - you gotta hear the whistling solo)
Touching The Ground
Oh Dear (one of my favorites, OK, maybe my very favorite)-
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Visit BrandiCarlile.Com to read more, listen, view photos, buy music and see her touring schedule. Become a fan on her facebook for all kinds of goodies.
BTW: Brandi donates $1 from every ticket sale to The Looking Out Foundation, a foundation she created to lend a helping hand to various places and churches that need help. The Looking Out Foundation helps with personal tragedies and does a lot of work with Reverb, Captain Planet and Honor the Earth.

One2One Network has provided this album to me at no charge and has entered my name into a drawing for a gift card in exchange for my unbiased review. The review is an honest critique and is intended to spread information about music I think is great and you might enjoy.

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