12 Stories - Brandy Clark

Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 22, 2013
    A staggeringly great collection of original tunes that paint vivid, honest portraits of real life, from a uniquely feminine perspective.
  2. Oct 22, 2013
    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.
  3. Oct 22, 2013
    Clark wrote or co-wrote all 12 of these songs with the feistiness of Loretta Lynn and the songwriting gift of Dolly Parton.... This is the country debut of the year.
  4. 83
    Clark keeps things edgy, singing about divorce, drugs, jail, and Jesus with matter-of-fact sass and ample twang.[25 Oct/1 Nov 2013, p.100]
  5. 80
    12 Stories, a record full of humor and pain, remorse and reckoning, is one of the very best country debuts of 2013.
  6. Oct 22, 2013
    Mostly her ear is unerring and her characters true--the kind of talent who makes the term "alt-country" unnecessary.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 15, 2014
    They are here, and they are real. Nashville is releasing some song-writing Mutants and it is scary how good these WOMEN are. The production stays out of the way of the storytelling, and comes out brilliantly on songs like "Hangover" and "Stripes." "Take a little pill" and "Just like him" will break your heart. The question is not is Brandy Clark's 12 story good. The question is who is the queen Clark, Monroe, or Musgraves? Full Review »
  2. Jan 6, 2014
    Brandy Clark is a lyrical genius, with her dark sense of humour that is shown in these songs. I am in love with this album, her songs are like mini-stories, all fitting in to about 3-4 minutes each. One of my favourite songs was released as a single, called Stripes, where she tells a story about a woman seeking revenge on her cheating husband, very tempted to pull the trigger, however stops herself, not because she can't cope with prison, but because she doesn't look good in prison jumpsuits (There's no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion/ and the only thing saving your life/ Is that I don't look good in orange and I hate stripes) Genius!
    Another song is called "Take a little pill", which is about abusing prescription drugs. Drug use is very delicate topic, but when approached seriously, creates sympathy for those caught in a spiral of addiction.
    "What'll keep me out of heaven" is another, telling a story about a woman about to approach the elevator, having to make a decision whether to leave and walk away or to go up to the floor do the deed that will "keep her out of heaven" I love how realistic the whole song is, and how she tells the story. (He's some stranger's husband and I'm some strangers wife)
    I could go on and on but I could be here for hours, so I will stop there.
    Stand-out tracks: EVERYTHING!
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2013
    Brandy Clark has written some of Nashville's most engaging and thoughtful songs for artists like Miranda Lambert ("Mama's Broken Heart") and Kacey Musgraves ("Follow Your Arrow") but she has saved her best for this finely crafted collection. Clark writes with a matter-of-fact directness about the everyday realities of life, creating a dozen 3 1/2 minute short stories that speak of lives gone to seed, love turned to boredom, and people seeking relief from pills, drink and playing the lotto. Clark can turn a phrase like nobody's business the first single, "Stripes", is a revenge fantasy tempered by a woman's unwillingness to trade the satisfaction of disposing of a philandering partner for the indignity of wearing a prison uniform:

    "There's no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion, the only thing saving your life
    Is I don't look good in orange and I hate stripes"

    But Clark's real gift shows in her ability to create vivid moments in her songs a pensive woman waiting for the elevator on the way to a first marital indiscretion ("What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven") or capturing the insecurity of meeting a lover's former girlfriend ("Hold My Hand"). She joins some of music's best storytellers think Patty Griffin or Nanci Griffith in her prime with this masterpiece.
    Full Review »