What Did I Ever Come Here For
Brandi Carlile turned 30 while recording her fourth album. So it makes sense that Bear Creek, named for the converted barn where it was recorded, is an album of change and experimentation. Carlile diversifies her sound like never before -- bluegrass, rockabilly, even full-on adult-alt pop ("100") -- even as she roots it more firmly in traditional country, with often fascinating results: "That Wasn't Me" straddles the line between country and R&B, while indie pop cut "Just Kids" is hauntingly gorgeous. The only real issue is that Carlile's earth-shattering voice gets a bit lost in the shuffle.