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12 October 2009 @ 03:14 pm
Song of the Week: #65: Brandi Carlile "Looking Out"  
Brandi Carlile "Looking Out"



This is one of my favorite new songs of 2009 – it’s a roller coaster, the slow build starts as you’re headed up the gigantic first hill and then the first chorus hits as you crest the top of the hill, there is that momentary feeling that your weightless, and then you’ve got to hold on tight as the car starts to rapidly descend. You’re white-knuckling right up to the end when you immediately think, ‘I need that rush again!’

THAT is “Looking Out,” the first cut on Brandi Carlile’s new album, Give up the Ghost. I’ve been waiting for a studio version to hit youtube since I first heard this track on 9/15 (yes, I remember the date because it made that much of an impression – that and I’m really anal about some things) because it just immediately grabbed me and took me on the coaster ride. If you can check it out in the car it’s even better.

Brandi’s albums have always been elusive to me, never consistent enough for my tastes. There are a handful of great tracks on each of her previous two albums, but the rest of the songs didn’t stand up. Her last album features her best track, “The Story,” which will almost be impossible to top as it is perfection in 4 minutes – the passion of her vocal delivery is nothing short of amazing. And as Diane and I keep discussing, the new album doesn’t have a moment that matches “The Story,” yes this album is superior overall as it doesn’t have a weak track on it. I could ramble on, but instead I’m going to pass the word-mic over to a reviewer from All Music Guide that I respect who seems to have captured the album wonderfully:

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AMG:
If there was any flaw with Brandi Carlile's second album, The Story, it's that it was perhaps a touch too austere, painted in amber tones by producer T Bone Burnett. Its 2009 sequel, Give Up the Ghost, opens up and breathes, perhaps partially due to swapping T Bone for Rick Rubin, who retains the spooky, serious vibe but makes things a little less chilly. This isn't sealed off; there is room for guests here, including such L.A. linchpins as Benmont Tench and Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith, but also Elton John and his arranger, Paul Buckmaster. Tellingly, their presence is felt more than heard, as they never remove the spotlight from Carlile, who remains a singularly powerful singer/songwriter. When things are Spartan, her voice is haunting and gripping, wrenching out operatic emotions, but Give Up the Ghost trumps The Story because she allows herself to lighten up, to rock again on "Dreams" and jump into the rollicking "Caroline," which does indeed recall the barrelhouse jaunt of Honky Chateau. Carlile still prefers sobriety to levity but it never feels affected; it's music that gets under your skin and cuts to the bone.


“Looking Out”
I went out looking for the answers and never left my town.
I’m no good at understanding, but I’m good at standing ground.
And when I asked a corner preacher I couldn’t hear him for my
youth. Some people get religion some people get the truth. I
never get the truth, I never get the truth.

Chorus:
I know the darkness falls on you. And it’s just a point of view
When you’re outside looking in you belong to someone and when
you feel like giving in and the coming of the end, like your
heart can break in two, someone loves you.

I lay this suitcase on my chest so I can feel somebody’s weight.
And I lay you to rest just to feel a give and take?
I got a new interpretation and it’s a better point of view, you
were looking for a landslide I was looking out for you, I was
looking out for you, someone’s looking out for you

Chorus:
I know the darkness falls on you. And it’s just a point of view
When you’re outside looking in you belong to someone and when
you feel like giving in and the coming of the end, like your
heart can break in two, someone loves you.

I am afraid of crossing lines. I am afraid of flying blind.
afraid of inquiring minds. Afraid of being left behind.
I close my eyes I think of you, I take a step I think of you,
I catch my breath I think of you, I cannot rest I think of you

My one and only wrecking ball, and you’re crashing through my
walls. When you’re outside looking in you belong to someone and
when you feel like giving in and the coming of the end, like
your heart could break in two, someone loves you.



More Brandi Carlile:
“The Story” (live on Jools Holland) (with a gigantic Gretsch guitar she rips that painfully emotive vocal slide in the 2nd half beautifully)
“Caroline” (w/ Elton John)
“Dreams” new single