After I enjoyed a great show by Brandy Clark in Amsterdam in January 2020, I was really looking forward to the third album of the Washington-origin US country music artist. She released Your Life is a Record on 6th March 2020.
Brandy Clark – About The Artist
Brandy Lynn Clark was born on 9th October 1975 in the tiny village of Morton, Washington. Country music was part of her family life and she started playing guitar at the age of nine. She moved to Nashville at the age of 23, enrolling to the music business program of Belmont University. She worked more seriously on her musical career and had an initial success in 2011, when Mama’s Broken Heart co-written by her made it on a Miranda Lambert record and even was close to top the Billboard Country Music Airplay charts. In 2012, she opened for Sheryl Crow and in October 2013, she released her debut album 12 Stories, which reached the second spot in the US Heat and #23 in the US Country Charts. The album was also quite successful in the UK, reaching the Top 10 in the Country Charts. In 2016, Clark released her second album, Big Day in a Small Town, which was even more successful regarding chart positions. Love Can Go To Hell was one of the singles of that album.
Brandy Clark – Your Life Is a Record – Track by Track
The album contains eleven songs. It lasts 39 minutes.
1. I’ll Be the Sad Song
If your life is a record
People and places are the songs
There’ll be slow and there’ll be fast ones
Lookin’ forward, lookin’ backwards
On that tiny two lane town that you call home
They’ll all make sense
When they’re together
If your life is a record
I’ll be the sad song, your good love gone bad song
The part of your heart that’s bittersweet
Couldn’t be your happy song but at least we had a song
So I’ll be the sad song you sing
Brandy Clark’s songs are very intense in their lyrics and songwriting – and so is I’ll Be The Sad Song – somehow, the hidden title track of the album. Very classic arrangement, does not feel to be too country, though. Nice starter in this eleven dish menu!
2. Long Walk
Okay, that is country music sound. The instrumentation of Brandy Clark’s band gives this a very classic touch – still the song is not old-fashioned, but a good listen.
3. Love is a Fire
Love is a Fire is one of the singles already released from the album. A very clssic Brand Clark sound, great listen!
4. Pawn Shop
He walked in with it slung over his shoulder
He said, “Man, you’ll never give me a fair price
But this young man’s town’s just watching me get older
And the song’s I sing don’t feed my kids and wife
There’s a few belt buckle scratches on the back
And the B-string tends to fall a little flat
But it ain’t stolen, it ain’t hot
Someone told me it cost a lot
Man, ain’t that the truth
I thought I’d play it my whole life
It never even crossed my mind
Back when it was new
It end up in a pawn shop on Charlotte Avenue”
Another example for Brandy Clark’s beautiful storytelling. On the other hand, I have to admit that the album strongly reminds me of the The Seven Sisters album I recently reviewed: Brandy Clark also demands you to listen to the music. This becomes tiring over time to me.
5. Who You Thought I Was
Not just because I knew this song as a pre-release before, it is one of my favorites on this 2020 Brandy Clark production. Nice, straight music.
I feel you just have to quote Clark’s songs in review, they show so much more the beauty of her songwriting than I could ever do that with my non-mother tongue English:
You don’t owe me none of your forgiveness
What you do with your life ain’t my business, now
If a thousand ways could heal the hurt
Then a thousand ways is what you’re worth
I’ll say it, sing it, pray it, scream it
7. Bigger Boat (feat. Randy Newman)
What a cool duet – the very characteristic sound of Randy Newman’s voice is just a lovely addition to this song – and to the whole album. It also adds some new sounds, which helped a lot to move this song into my focus. One of my favorites on this record!
8. Bad Car
This song feels like Brandy Clark can just write songs about anything. This one is an hommage on an old car – a song which can also be seen to be very metaphoric. Nice!
9. Who Broke Whose Heart
The comparbly pop-alike and melodic feeling Who Broke Whose Heart is a bit of a “lighter” and easier to listen songs. Still, it is a very good song.
10. Can We Be Strangers
I don’t want to want you
I don’t want to love you
I don’t want to hate you
Or even care enough to
We struck out as lovers
We struck out as friends
Is it too much to ask
Can we be strangers
This song is simply beautiful. Full stop.
11. The Past is the Past
The album concludes with this slow, nicely told story. Well done, Brandy!
Brandy Clark – Your Life Is a Record – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget for the album:
Brandy Clark – Your Life Is a Record – My View
Brandy Clark proofs again: she is doing just good music. Brandy Clark music. I have to admit that I rather enjoyed the range of songs she presented in Amsterdam – the song on Your Life is a Record just feel to be very close to each other some times. Individually, they are all well produced and nicely written, though. They just lack variety too much, I feel.