Washington State native Brandi Carlile has released five studio albums, a smattering of EPs, named her horse after her first guitar (it was a Sovereign) and spent time in her teen years as a backup singer for an Elvis impersonator. She's a woman obsessed with music and it shows in her practiced guitar picking ("Save Part of Yourself"), preternaturally strong voice ("Raise Hell") and the perfectly pop-folksy music style she carves out on her latest album, Bear Creek. Taken as a whole, Bear Creek is a meditation on sucking the marrow out of life. "100" is an existentialist love song about remembering a lost relationship right into the elderly years. "Keep Your Heart Young" is a cheerful conviction to do just that. What's more, Bear Creek is a fantastic showcase of Brandi Carlile's writing ability, as well as her well-earned musicianship. There isn't a dull moment on this album.
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