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Brandi Carlile - The Story - Columbia

Already and XPN favorite because of her heartfelt songs and incredible voice, BRANDI CARLILE has upped the ante with her sophomore album The Story. The choice of veteran roots poducer T-BONE BURNETT was a wise one, because he's able to capture Carlile's emotion perfectly, and he coaxed some very, very stellar vocal performances out of her.

Brandi's secret weapons - the very talented (and affable) HANSEROTH twins - are in rare form throughout The Story, and their playing and songwriting are central to the growing Brandi Carlile "story".

The album's first single - the title track - is a remarkable ride indeed. It starts soft and wistfully, builds gradually, and climaxes with a cathartic flourish that pushes Carlile to the limits of her considerable range. It's quite a moment, indeed, when she belts out the final verse. Other standouts include "My Song", "Late Morning Lullaby", and "Until I Die". At the forefront, though, are the performances. These songs have developed over a long period of touring, and they sound like it. The rare combination of material that perfect for the artist and the deft, natural touch of producer Burnett makes The Story a very endearing listening experience.

We knew we had something special when we first hear Brandi, and the new album is neither a suprise or dissappointment. Finally, it's hard not to root for Brandi and the twins... they are such nice folks. The Story will most certainly be told over and over again.

Written by Dan Reed