Brandy Clark – Big Day In A Small Town

Brandy Clark - Big Day In A Small TownBrandy Clark can be said to be part of what could be dubbed the new country renaissance – the answer to those who crave country music that isn’t played on country radio. Progressive yet still intertwined with the roots. On her debut album, 12 Stories, Brandy helped give a fresh perspective to a stagnant genre. It was full of attitude and personality while putting a face to the sharp lyrics she became known for. On Big Day In A Small Town, she expands on that attitude, as evidenced by the album’s first single Girl Next Door while sometimes letting the razor dig deep like on Daughter, where she wishes a daughter on every womanizing man.

Love Can Go To Hell is top-notch with couplets that melt off the page: “Love can go to hell in a broken heartbeat minute/that’s where I am without you in it,” while she maintains her ability to tell stories that paint the picture of how complicated simple life can be. Songs like Three Kids No Husband, Soap Opera, Homecoming Queen and the title track come with experience – even if just as a bystander. Or maybe it’s a distancing tactic. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it lacks. The final track, Since You’ve Gone To Heaven, has an obvious personal connection about a father’s passing. The first verse captures the emptiness that results, but the rest of the song strays too close to cliche in its attempt at staying general and relatable. Despite this, Clark delivers another fine album that demonstrates her loyalty to country’s roots (Drinkin’ Smokin’ Cheatin’ is the quintessential country song) while also showing she’s not a one-album-wonder nor a one-trick-pony.

Four stars

1. Soap Opera
2. Girl Next Door
3. Homecoming Queen
4. Broke
5. You Can Come Over
6. Love Can Go To Hell
7. Big Day In A Small Town
8. Three Kids No Husband
9. Daughter
10. Drinkin’ Smokin’ Cheatin’
11. Since You’ve Gone To Heaven

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