Brandi Carlile is a sort of rare breed in music these days, the type of artist who is allowed to nurture her career, make music that fits her and not the populace, and who keeps improving and surprising as time goes on. For her fifth record “The Firewatcher’s Daughter,” she has moved from giant Sony to indie ATO and has made one of the most diverse albums of her whole career.
Along with longtime collaborators the Hanseroth twins, Carlile delivers 12 honest, sometimes raging, often reflective cuts that should sound massive live. From galvanizing opener “Wherever Is Your Heart,” to the sweet country harmonies of “The Eye,” to defiant,
Sleater-Kinney-esque “Mainstream Kind,” to the syrupy folk of “I Belong to You,” it sounds like Carlile has made the album she’s always intended to create.
To cap things off, she ends the record with a cover of The Avett Bros.’ “Murder in the City,” which she reworks slightly, especially lyrically when she nods toward her own family with, “Make sure my wife knows I love her, make sure my daughter knows the same.” It’s a nice bow on a great package (Brian Krasman)