US singer Carlile both shoots from the hip and offers words of solace on her seventh album
The seventh album from the six-time Grammy winning singer and bestselling author from Ravensdale, Washington was inspired by mining her own history while writing her memoir and conceived while she was quarantined at home with long-time collaborators and bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth.
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Written in her barn and recorded at Nashville's historic RCA Studio, the straight-talking Carlile both shoots from the hip and offers words of solace on a set that ranges from sweet homilies to flaming rockers bristling with righteous spleen-venting. She’s stately one minute and gnarly the next.
There are traces of heartland rock, Americana and country and she alternates between tender ballads and well-seasoned rockers on which she grinds out lines like, "It’s time to spit you out like lukewarm water from the font" and "you’re a stone wall in a world of rubber bands".
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You and Me on the Rock has the same loose, freewheeling acoustic feel of something from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, When You’re Wrong is a sour lament about someone trapped in a loveless marriage, and Carlile saves her finest song for closing track Throwing Good After Bad, a luminous heartache ballad that rings true with some beautifully crafted lyrics.
It’s not quite Lucinda Williams but Carlile has a real purity and ache in her voice and she really goes for broke on an album that should be something of a breakthrough to a wider audience on this side of the Atlantic.
Alan Corr @CorrAlan2