Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Brandy Clark – Stripes

Really, is orange anyone’s color?


Katherine St Asaph: A brilliant, deftly written comedy song (if a bit long); if it came out 50 years ago (and it could have) it’d probably do good rounds by now in musical theater auditions. Shame Clark doesn’t quite nail it; a lyric this ludicrous needs to be sold like it’s not, but she’s too nonchalant, whether about hating infidelity or institutional garb. Miranda could probably pull it off — but better yet, how about Kristin Chenoweth?

John Seroff: Brandy Clark has already distinguished herself as one of the key voices on the new queer and woman-friendly country pioneer exemplified on contemporary radio by Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert; here’s hoping there’s room at the table for at least one more. A solid first draft of Clark’s debut LP made the rounds with ILX/Jukebox cognoscenti earlier in 2013 after showing up as a free, artist-posted soundcloud download and I personally consider it among the best freshman albums I’ve yet heard this year.  There’s any number of great potential singles on that as-yet-untitled-or-released debut; I’m partial to her rendition of “The Day She Got Divorced” (which she initially wrote for Reba), “Get High,” “Pray to Jesus” and “Crazy Women” myself. “Stripes” is as good a choice as any.  It’s a well written tune, less politically charged (e.g. more mainstream country accessible) than any of the earlier-mentioned tracks and if this doesn’t get placement in next season’s run of Orange Is the New Blacksomebody’s just not paying attention.

Anthony Easton: This is well done. Her voice is strong. Her “woo woo”s are fantastic. The chorus is delightful; the title line is smart enough, and the couplet that rhymes fashion and passion is brilliant. But she has written better work for better singers, and this might be a bit too goofy. I don’t think that the Annies or Musgraves could quite pull it off, but Kelly Hogan working through it would be a treat.?

Alfred Soto: An A&R man (do they still exist?) finally realized that this Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert collaborator needed to release the songs no label had wanted to release officially, and she rewards the intention. Demotic, wry, and suffused with common sense, Brandy Clark’s voice can ride a shuffle or press a ballad close. “Stripes” doesn’t have the hook of “Get High” or the other tracks I’ve heard, and her conceit is more gunpowder and lead, but the honky tonk piano understands “Back on the Chain Gang.” Predictable, though, especially after those Lambert and Musgraves singles.

Iain Mew: “Stripes” is a funny concept with lyrics that execute that humour perfectly. What makes it even better though, is that Clark has the confidence to leave all of the winking to the jaunty piano and guitar, leaving her to wring out the emotion from it at the same time.

Brad Shoup: Established songwriter goes for that Netflix money, splits the difference between cornball sentiment and oddly sincere gloom. The joke’s pretty much done by the first refrain, but feel free to remain seated for surf stings and lonesome male whoas. Brandy’s got a pleasant — if thin — twang, and couplets for weeks, but it’s clear she knows words don’t sell songs.

Edward Okulicz: “Stripes” sounds timeless but is also clever and modern at the same time. Sure, it’s one joke, but it’s a good one, and especially on the middle eight, snappily told. Clark doesn’t ham up the chorus like I wish she had, but her snark when singing about the “platinum blonde” in the first verse is both Nancy and Patsy.

Reader average: [8.87] (8 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.