‘In These Silent Days’ album review

Ash Anders, Volunteer DJ

In These Silent Days is the seventh studio album by American artist Brandi Carlile, who shot to fame after her debut self-titled album. The singer-songwriter has 13 Grammy nominations under her belt, as well as 5 wins. Her newest album shares beautiful messages to her family, as well as references to her memoir Broken Horses. 

Right on Time: The opening track of the album is a powerful ballad that expresses regret, determination, and love. The beautiful piano mirrors the similar sound of the last track, creating a loop effect that makes this album one to be played on repeat. The lyrics “I never held my breath for quite this long and I don’t take it back, I did what I had to do” show the strength and emotion in Carlile’s voice that makes this track a strong opener for an enchanting album. 

You and Me on the Rock: Featuring artist Lucius, this track has a very happy sound, aided by Carlile’s impressive vocals. By far the most light-hearted song on the album, it’s a story about the family Carlile has found in her music career. Lines such as “It’s a big sea, but it can’t touch you and me” shows the sheer love that Carlile has for her newfound family that inspired the track’s sound. 

This Time Tomorrow: A heart-breaking ballad, this track is directed toward the children of the band members as a comfort that they’ll always be loved. The gentle guitar and lyrics like “You can try to carve a faith out of your own, but a broken spirit may dry out the bone” bring the listener into their made-up family to feel loved and supported as well. 

Broken Horses: Named after Carlile’s 2021 memoir, this track is a great folk-rock song with strong instrumentals. Carlile’s mention of religion and horses in the lyrics reflects many of the themes from her memoir based on her upbringing. The guitar and piano are strong partners that aid Carlile’s vocals, which in this track are some of the strongest on the album. 

Letter To The Past: This track’s meaningful lyrics are a message from Carlile to her young daughter as she grows up. The line “Folks are gonna lean on you and leave when the cracks appear” strikes a chord in the way many young adults struggle with finding their ‘people’ as they grow. Carlile combats this fear and disappointment with the chorus “Darlin’, I will be here…You’re my letter to the past”. 

Mama Werewolf: This metaphorical track compares Carlile to a werewolf that her children must guide and control. The melody of this track is beautiful, including haunting background vocals and a pushing guitar line that feels like running. The lyrics are especially strong – specifically the chorus line asking her children to be “My silver bullet in the gun”. 

When You’re Wrong: The haunting melody and wistful lyrics of When You’re Wrong are similar to previous tracks on the album but unique in their own right. The slow instrumental track pushes the song forward, while Carlile’s vocals keep it laid back. The lyrics “You forgot yourself so long ago and I wish I could too, but you live inside a quiet hell no one can pray away” reflect the quiet forgiveness of the track that still acknowledges the mistakes everyone makes. 

Stay Gentle: This track maintains some of the old emotions of Johnny Cash while sharing a sweet and deep message. The lyrics “Don’t let the world make you callous, be ready to laugh” remind the listener to always keep their youth and stay positive to just enjoy their life while they can. The lyrics later compare power to being gentle, which both inspires and supports the listener. 

Sinners, Saints, and Fools: The story told in this track is reminiscent of the story-telling of The Killers, especially their newest album ALBUM. Carlile tells about a Christian man who is locked out of Heaven for being judgemental against immigrants. The combination of Carlile’s haunting vocals and strong lyrics make for a meaningful story that urges listeners to live their lives the right way. The track ends with a strong instrumental segment that solidifies the music of the track. 

 Throwing Good After Bad: This ballad reflects the feelings of helplessness that follow watching someone make poor decisions. Carlile’s vocals never waver, and this is especially apparent in the last track of the album. “I know you loved me once” is a heartbreaking line that shows the raw emotions Carlile conveys in her storytelling. The piano of this track juxtaposes the guitar in previous tracks nicely to close the album out with a strong, smooth sound. 

Brandi Carlile’s most recent album is filled with beautiful ballads and strong messages, and will no doubtingly only aid her career’s growth. 

Spinnaker rates this album 4 out of 5 sails.