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Review: Brandi Carlile’s ‘By the Way, I Forgive You’ Is Righteous Americana

The singer-songwriter drops a delicate masterpiece

brandi carlile

Brandi Carlile's sixth album is 'By the Way, I Forgive You.'

Alysse Gafkjen

Cozy up to the year’s early standout: On her sixth LP, veteran songwriter Brandi Carlile teams up with co-producers Shooter Jennings and Dave Cobb for a moving and righteous piece of Americana-infused pop. Across the 10-track LP, the folk-tinged singer belts with gusto, whether offering nostalgic, harmonized forgiveness on album opener “Everytime I Hear That Song” or a shoulder to cry on with anthemic ballad “The Joke.” She flexes her country roots on the quaint “Fulton County Jane Doe,” which references the opening chords of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” before telling a tried-and-true story of a long-lost memory of a girl with “Jesus on [her] hand.” The album’s strongest moments, however, are Carlile’s riskier departures towards the LP’s end. She hits a bouncy pop chord on the tender “Harder to Forgive” and settles into a booming Adele-meets-Joni moment with lonely, reflective tour de force “Party of One,” a delicate masterpiece that teems with the most effective delivery of the album’s underlying tones of forlorn, affectionate sadness. 

In This Article: Brandi Carlile

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