Brandi Carlile | By The Way, I Forgive You | Album Review
Record Label: Elektra Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Brandi Carlile has gained a following in the music industry over the past several years with her 2016 album The Firewatcher’s Daughter. Now, Carlile is on track to replace that title with her newest album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Carlile’s piercing vocal range and unique mix of folk and rock genres come together beautifully in this celebration of the ever-changing human experience.
“Every Time I Hear That Song,” the album’s first track, is a reprieve to a former lover. A choir backs Carlile atop gentle guitar and piano to create a vivid sense of longing and heartbreak along with her powerful vocals as she sings, “After all maybe I should thank you / for giving me what I’ve found / cause without you around / I’ve been doing just fine.” In “Sugartooth,” Carlile sings about a troubled classmate who committed suicide after being condemned by the world and falling into addiction. The ballad could’ve been inconsolably depressing, but Carlile makes it a joyous, bittersweet testimony about the innate goodness inside of people with uplifting lyrics in this contrasting upbeat track.
Carlile’s voice can change octaves and turn from raspy to operatic on a dime, and she uses it to great effect on “The Joke,” and “Party of One,” which both feature beautiful orchestral arrangements.
Every song on the album is a testament for Carlile and her team’s writing ability, as they contain intricate lyrics and raw emotion. By The Way, I Forgive You is a masterful showcase of Carlile’s abilities and has the potential to become an instant classic.