Michelle Branch
The Spirit Room


4.0
excellent

Review

by tinathefatlard USER (1 Reviews)
June 1st, 2009 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pop Rock done the right way.

I often think back to the time that I was starting to grow tired of heavier and louder music, and wanted something quiet, catchy and good to balance it out. Hello, Ms. Branch, nice to meet you. In 2001, Michelle Branch entered the scene at about the same time similar female vocalists did, such as Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne. However, unlike the latter, Branch did more than just strum a few chords during the bridges of her songs; rather she would play the lead guitar in all of her songs.

The album starts off with the song Everywhere, the first of 3 singles from the album. It starts with a nice acoustic intro which is joined in by drum, then the whole band for the chorus. While the music generally falls under pop, this song has a rockier edge to it. The next song, You Get Me is not a bad song, but it doesn’t stand out as much as Everywhere. The most recognizable song and the second single is All You Wanted, which can be remembered for the acoustic intro which leads to the opening line “I wanted…to be like you.” After hearing the first 3 songs, it is apparent what separates Michelle Branch from the artists she was compared to; her songs can relate to the young girls in relationships without simultaneously cock-blocking their boyfriends, (i.e Avril’s “Don’t Tell Me”).

The thing that keeps the album from flowing the right way is the changes in tempo and moods between songs, like how You Set Me Free is more cheerful and upbeat, and then it is followed by the slightly mournful Something To Sleep To. One of the better songs on the album is the religious sounding song, Sweet Misery, which is actually about seeing the beauty in someone that they don’t see in themselves. The next two songs sound a bit like you’ve heard them earlier on in the album; however that doesn’t mean they are bad songs, just that the occasional user with a short attention span may be inclined to turn off the music. This would be a bad idea, as they will miss out on the most emotionally powerful song on the album, the third and final single, Goodbye To You. After a brief chat with Captain Obvious, one can conclude that this song is about a breakup, but it isn’t just a whine and cry song, instead the bridge features lyrics which explain how it is better to let go no matter how much it hurts.

“It hurts to want everything & nothing at the same time
I want what’s yours and I want what’s mine
I want you but I'm not giving in this time”

In other words, this is also a moving on type of song especially for those in on and off relationships. The final song is indeed the strangest on the album as it does not sound anything like the pop-rock which has been featured so far. The appropriately titled, Drop In The Ocean sounds exactly like it describes, with the keyboard playing a main role here with lush dreamy type chords which go along with Branch’s underwater sounding vocals. The part that stands out the most is the last minute in which the tempo is increased, and her voice soars, giving the impression that she is surfacing rapidly and then finally breaks the ocean’s surface.

Overall this is a great album, and I highly recommend it for those looking for something new to add to their music collection.

Recommended songs: Everywhere, All You Wanted, Sweet Misery, Goodbye To You, Drop In The Ocean.


user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Nathan Flynn (5)
She's only 17, but that's old enough for me...

samesounds (5)
It’s strange how music back then is more beautiful and real....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ninjuice
June 1st 2009


6760 Comments


Fairly good for a first, but it borders on a TBT. You might try describing the music more but considering it's pop rock idk how much anybody really could.
I love what I've heard from this, and I'll probably get around to a review after I acquire it.

tinathefatlard
June 2nd 2009


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I wanted to have someone proof-read it but I'd rather put my work out there uncut.

mvdu
June 2nd 2009


625 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review. I think this is a bit of a modern classic, but because it's pop/rock, it didn't get the recognition.

ninjuice
June 2nd 2009


6760 Comments


I downloaded Goodbye to You after reading this, and now the almost 40% of this record in my iTunes tells me I'll really gonna like it.

darthbarf
June 2nd 2009


445 Comments


This is one of my favorite pop albums ever. I really liked this back in the day, then I rejected it during my awkward, growing stage, but now that I don't really give a flying fart in space what people think about my musical tastes I want to get the rest of this.

tinathefatlard
June 2nd 2009


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You should definitely do that, it's a shame those that aren't willing to open their minds to other things are never going to hear this.

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2009


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an awesome album, but the next one kind of fell flat (and her upcoming one is supposed to be country).

tinathefatlard
June 2nd 2009


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, Hotel Paper has some select songs that are good, but I think this flows better. I'm actually going to check out her new one, Everything Comes And Goes.

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2009


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I was supposed to review it before I found out it was country. Now I don't know if I will.

mvdu
June 2nd 2009


625 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hotel Paper is also excellent (4.5 rating.) She couldn't go with the exact same sound, so went for a more organic sound.

Willie
Moderator
June 30th 2009


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I finally heard the first single off of the upcoming album and it definitely has a country vibe, but it's still good.



As for the review, you basically did a track-by-track without splitting them into individual paragraphs. For your next one you could try giving an overall description of the album without using every song to accomplish it.

It starts with a nice acoustic intro
Try to avoid words such as "nice" when describing something because "nice" isn't very descriptive of a sound. Also, instead of giving a play-by-play of how the song begins, it would be more beneficial to describe the vibe of the song as a whole and mention the different elements of the song within that context.
The thing that keeps the album from flowing the right way
What would be "the right way"? Again, avoid vague descriptions. Instead you could have said the album lacks a cohesive flow due to the track order which can jump from a totally upbeat song such as "You Set Me Free" into the much more subdued "Something to Sleep To". Which reminds me, use quotes around song titles.



Last, work on making a comprehensive conclusion that neatly sums up the review.

ScorpionStan
June 30th 2009


1836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aghhh why did she have to go country? she was sooo good at this style

Willie
Moderator
August 12th 2009


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The two songs I've heard from her upcoming album aren't that bad, despite being country.

tinathefatlard
August 20th 2009


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool, what songs were they?

Willie
Moderator
August 20th 2009


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know. They're streaming on her official website (I check it occasionally to see if they've announced a release date yet).

mvdu
November 7th 2010


625 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Completely agree, andcas. Can't believe Michelle is having so much trouble even getting a new full-length album out.

Steerpike
January 4th 2011


1861 Comments


I heard Everywhere on the radio at the grocery store today. It made me remember how they pimped the shit out of the album back in 2001 and then I never heard anything about her afterward again. I might have to look into the album in full now as she certainly has a better voice and songwriting chops than the people she was sharing the limelight with at the time.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


2086 Comments


Unfortunate, since I remember the single in 2001 as well and it was solid... Way better than most of the shit I hear these days.

Captain Civic
February 8th 2011


280 Comments


I have fond memories of "Everywhere".

bloc
February 8th 2011


35252 Comments


So hot



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