Brandy Clark Your Life Is a Record

Brandy Clark Your Life Is a Record
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The risk of getting scorched sounds well worth it on "Love Is a Fire," a standout track on Brandy Clark's new LP, Your Life Is a Record. Over strings that all but simmer with restraint, Clark pours her soulfully molten voice into lyrics about risky love. No, she's not the first writer to use flames as a metaphor for romance, but the pinpoint precision of her songwriting, and her impassioned vocal delivery, certainly serve as ample kindling.
 
It's little wonder that stars as varied as Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Kacey Musgraves have covered her songs over the years. Now Clark sounds poised to bound past her "songwriter's favourite songwriter" status for her own moment in the spotlight.
 
Chalk that up to not only the heft of her lyrics and singing, but also the tastefully eloquent instrumentation throughout these 11 tracks. "Apologies," for instance, features a fluttering climactic flute. Steely banjo strums make the heartache and reckless abandon of "Pawn Shop" all the more vivid. And understated fiddle notes thrum like a steady engine on "I'll Be the Sad Song," before mournful horn notes punctuate the closing moments.
 
If Clark maintains the marquee star promise she shows throughout Your Life Is a Record, swaths of the next generation's songwriters will long for her to cover their tunes, and daydream about following in her footsteps. (Warner)