Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart for June 19

Since You Went to Heaven” is the standout track on Brandy Clarke’s new album, an incredibly controlled and heartbreaking narrative of personal and social collapse. “Love Can Go to Hell,” “You Can Come Over” and “Broke” are also very good, although I’m not sure they’re quite as good as the best tracks on her previous album, 12 Stories. Some of the other tracks, like the the title track “Big Day in a Small Town” and “Drinkin’ Smokin’ Cheatin'” seem unfinished, more sketches than complete songs, as they both have a structure that suggests a narrative but they lack a dramatic payoff. And one song, “Daughter,” leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. In the song, the narrator hopes that a philandering ex will some day have a daughter, in order for him to get some sense of what he’s put women through. The problem is, in the song the daughter exists purely as a prop for this revenge, with no consideration for what the daughter might be suffering at the hands of the men who repeat her father’s poor treatment of women. I don’t think the characters portrayed or performed in a song need to be morally right, and it could be worthwhile to write a song from the perspective of a woman who is so angry at how she’s been treated that she doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process of her revenge, but I don’t hear that in Clark’s performance here. Read more↴