Thursday, January 27, 2022

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Sound Check


Brandi CarlileBasic CMYK

“The Firewatcher’s Daughter”



Brandi Carlile hasn’t gone anywhere. After breaking through with 2007’s “The Story,” Carlile has settled into what can comfortably be described as “her sound.” She has not shown the capacity to grow and evolve in quite the same fashion as, say, Ani DiFranco or Sinead O’Connor, but in a way, that is all right. Because it turns out that Carlile is so damned good at the sound she has settled into, you do not really mind if she lingers here for a while. “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” does not push Carlile into new territory, but it is the most complete version of herself that she has put in front of an audience. Lead single “The Eye” became an immediate fan favorite, and with good reason. From beginning to end, “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” is a beautifully unrestrained look at a great songwriter. CV



The Airborne Toxic EventAirborne Toxic Event

“Dope Machines”



The Airborne Toxic Event (otherwise known as “that band that had that one single a couple years ago that you kind of liked but can not actually name right now”) is here with its first effort since 2013’s mildly successful “Such Hot Blood,” and they seem fairly content to give that horse another ride. But the 2015 version of events falls flat because the band’s heart does not seem to be into it. Where “Such Hot Blood” featured a couple moments that could be construed as genuine emotional output, “Dope Machines” seems to think that frontman Mikel Jollett’s tortured voice is all we need in our lives, with the actual words being sung coming in a distant second. What The Airborne Toxic Event is trying to peddle here is complete cult of personality without bothering to find any genuine personality first. CV

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