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Country - Released March 6, 2020 | Warner Records

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Brandy Clark's third album opens with a stunner: "I'll Be the Sad Song," a ballad carried by sweeping strings and melancholy trumpet. It's a little bit country, a little bit Dusty in Memphis, and a whole new style of Americana. Credit goes not just to Clark, whose songwriting has long been smarter than most. Producer Jay Joyce layers on instrumentation, much of it courtesy of the Memphis Strings & Horns, that acts as Clark's equal. High-hat clicks and jaunty horns offer a sarcastically joyous counterpoint to the kiss-off lyrics of "Long Walk" ("Take a long walk off a real short pier, take a cinderblock with you as a souvenir"). Sad piano and buried-deep bass imbue the regrets of "Apologies." Flute, of all things, adds mischief to the delightful Randy Newman duet "Bigger Boat." There's plenty of dark humor as well as exceedingly human pain, as on "Pawn Shop"—starring an old guitar as metaphor for tarnished dreams—and the lush "Can We Be Strangers," with Clark sighing "I don't want to hate you or even care enough to." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Country - Released June 10, 2016 | Warner Records

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Country - Released November 5, 2014 | Warner Records

Prior to the 2013 release of 12 Stories, Brandy Clark was known primarily as a songwriter, and a good one too. She had hits with Miranda Lambert ("Mama's Broken Heart"), LeAnn Rimes ("Crazy Women"), the Band Perry ("Better Dig Two"), and Kacey Musgraves ("Follow Your Arrow"), and 12 Stories reflects some of the same skills that brought her to the upper reaches of the charts. In her songs, Clark is tuneful and defiant, happily celebrating the virtues of weed and rebellion, but Clark never comes across as a redneck. She's on the outside but she's an observer, not an outcast, noticing the quirks and eccentricities of her brethren instead of diving head-on into their madness. Perhaps some songwriters would permit themselves a certain measure of distance if they wrote in this fashion, never letting their hands get dirty, but Clark is empathetic in her heart, seeing the humanity in the divorcees, women dealing with hungover lovers, whoever needs to take a little pill just to get through the day. As a singer, she avoids full-throated showstoppers for something better: she's sly and strong, mining heartbreak and sneaking in punch lines at unexpected times. Her songs are constructed in a similar fashion, slowly gaining power as they unfold, sometimes seeming simple but revealing complexities upon a close listen. Similarly, 12 Stories doesn't hit hard musically: it creeps and insinuates, its hooks slowly, deeply settling in. No one song is a knockout but the cumulative effect is overpowering: as the album reaches its conclusion, the strength and clarity of Clark's voice becomes undeniable and, looking back, it's possible to hear her identity clearly within those hits she penned for superstars. Perhaps she's too subtle to be a stadium-filling superstar, but the superb 12 Stories showcases a unique artist who stands firmly, proudly on her own merits. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released November 5, 2014 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released January 10, 2020 | Warner Records

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Country - Released January 31, 2020 | Warner Records

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Country - Released April 22, 2017 | Warner Records

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Country - Released June 10, 2016 | Warner Records

Brandy Clark's 2013 debut 12 Stories was very much a songwriter's record: clean, simple, and spare, its arrangements never distracting from the writing. Big Day in a Small Town, released three years later as Clark's first major-label album, is its opposite: a collection of 11 songs buffed and polished with the intention of bringing her music to the widest possible audience. The tight drum loops of "Girl Next Door," the album's first single, signals the biggest aesthetic shift from the front porch picking of 12 Stories, but Clark hasn't abandoned her flair for intimate character sketches or storytelling. "Homecoming Queen" and "Three Kids No Husband" could've easily fit on the debut, but Jay Joyce -- the producer who helmed Eric Church's muscular modern-day outlaw Mr. Misunderstood, and also the Brothers Osborne's Pawn Shop, an album much closer in sound to Big Day in a Small Town than Church's -- gives them subtly textured arrangements, then surrounds these miniatures with bolder sounds. "Broke" plays with modern R&B rhythms that counter its white trash jokes, "Soap Opera" plays its gospel overtones as pop, and the riotous dis of "Daughter" is the only time Clark serves a straight-down-the-middle country song. Big Day in a Small Town slides from sound to sound with ease because Clark's anchor remains her finely rendered intimacy, a skill put into sharp relief by the heartbreak of the album closers "Drinkin' Smokin' Cheatin'" and "Since You've Gone to Heaven." The brighter, funnier songs and the nicely etched smooth ballads "Love Can Go to Hell" and "You Can Come Over" serve as gateways to this Clark signature, and if Big Day in a Small Town occasionally feels like nothing more than a collection of great songs that don't quite gel into a larger picture, that's a minor complaint: songs rarely come much better than these. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 14, 2017 | Warner Records

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Country - Released April 22, 2017 | Warner Records

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Country - Released February 14, 2020 | Warner Records

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Country - Released October 28, 2016 | Warner Records

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 8, 2019 | Warner Records

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Country - Released January 22, 2016 | Warner Records

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Country - Released April 1, 2016 | Warner Records

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Country - Released April 22, 2016 | Warner Records

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Country - Released June 3, 2016 | Warner Records

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Country - Released May 13, 2016 | Warner Records