Brandi Carlile isn’t reinventing the wheel on her third album, “Give Up the Ghost” out October 6. The Seattle folk singer, who plays Boston’s House of Blues this evening, treads over familiar female singer/songwriter territory on “Ghost” with help from contemporaries like the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray.
Release Date: 10/6/09
Carlile, 28, exploded with “The Story” her 2007 T. Bone Burnett-produced sophomore album whose title track became the basis for a “Grey’s Anatomy” music video. (Several other songs were featured on the show itself.) “Grey’s”-friendly folk songs continue to dominate on “Give Up the Ghost” particularly the ukulele-infused “Oh Dear” and wistful “That Year.”
Also prevalent on “Ghost” are Carlile’s country influences, namely on the honky-tonk “Caroline” to which Elton John lends a restrained collaboration. The idea of small town escapism also plays an important role, particularly on the outcast anthem “Looking Out” on which Carlile muses, “I went out lookin’ for the answers “¦ Some people get religion, some people get the truth.”
While none of the songs showcase the raw vocal chops that Carlile displayed on “The Story” (“Pride and Joy” comes close, as Carlile wonders, “Do I make you proud? Do you get me now?”), her distinctive voice quivers with emotion, fluctuating pitch like a slide guitar as she sings about love, heartache and self-discovery.
Brandi Carlile is in Boston tonight at House of Blues.