No longer a Northwestern folk underdog, Carlile's sixth studio LP – produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings – proves her most stunning. Her powerful swells peak measured and controlled as she steels against complicated relationships with a graceful nuance and clear confidence. Pain cedes to compassion through openers "Every Time I Hear That Song" and "The Joke," and bursts anthemic on "Hold Out Your Hand." Meanwhile, "The Mother" and "Whatever You Do" ring poignantly personal into closing piano ballad "Party of One." Empathetic and hopeful, By the Way rivals breakout The Story as Carlile's best. (4:30pm, Honda stage)
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