For those unfamiliar with Brandi Carlile's work, she's probably best compared to KT Tunstall, with similar use of instrumentation and a similar vocal range. But whereas Tunstall's second album substantially developed on her first, Carlile's follow-up to her eponymous debut takes only modest steps forward, whilst ticking all the same boxes. So it's still angsty guitar-heavy rock with a little country influence; fortunately, it's also still rather good.
An example: in her first album, Carlile often slides around the music, glissing between notes, giving a lazy, luxurious quality to some of her songs. In the follow-up, she lets her voice slide further, across whole octaves, between registers even, and she even occasionally lets it break angrily. This is not a profound change to the way she sings, but a moderate development of her old style.
It feels like a quality album and is a good listen, and worth hearing more than once - but still I hope that Brandi will be a little more daring in her next album.