Now, at last, I have the quiet chance to sit and give me the pleasure and the music the courtesy of having a proper listen to this.
Brandy Clark seems to have delivered the goods again and I’m only 6 songs in. “Girl next door” is a typical “fuck you if you don’t like me I don’t give a shit” lyric that she does so well. The kind of affirmative female anthem that decades before her, with less colourful language, Dolly and Loretta opened the door for. As the video shows, she’s a woman who knows how to spit that vitriol and use her venom to maximum effect in a lyric. She’s an individual and not a brand. And that’s what I like. She’s doing the talking, not a label with a quota that needs filling.
“Broke” with its grim humour about waiting for grandma to croke ‘cos their all broke is another stand out. She walks a fine line at times, “Love can go to hell” has almost as much Nashville “slick” as I can take before showing her the door, but she stays on just the right side of that line.
Track 7 and I’m thinking I’ll be leaving this to go around again. It’s a solid 4 stars album at least but for the next album I hope she takes a couple of steps away from the desk, back towards the stage, when recording it. Her musics got an integrity that only the feel of live performance can nourish. Too many twiddled knobs will only burn it off.
Her strength is her lyrics, which is why she does so well writing for other people too. She paints better, and with more real colour in one song with a few chords, then a thousand “Lady Antiseptic” top 10 singles with all their polished graphic artist fakery combined could do. Her observational powers are what place her up amongst the very best writers. This album, like “12 stories” before it, is another perfect showcase for a talent most people can only envy.
As I’m signing off “Daughter” kicks in with a Cash like chug to broaden the smile. It’s a “Sonofabitch” of a good song. “Yeah Karmas a bitch so I hope you have a daughter.” It’s a clever, blunt, honest kick in the nuts kinda lyric, and this song is only one example of the punch this womans pen packs.
PS. As expected, as I’m posting this, I realise it’s now three quarters through its second play. Which is nice.
© Jim Laing 2016.