Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Melissa Etheridge's considerable talents as writer/singer/performer have often seemed confounded by expectations--the artist having burdened herself with more than a few of them. Etheridge spent the '90s alternately provin... more »
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Melissa Etheridge's considerable talents as writer/singer/performer have often seemed confounded by expectations--the artist having burdened herself with more than a few of them. Etheridge spent the '90s alternately proving her mettle as one of the era's most successful female rock artists (peaking with the multi-platinum Yes I Am), trying to recapture those glories, then plumbing the depths of an all-too-public romantic flame-out on '01's confessional Skin. But here, the singer seems content to engage in a little musical soul-baring of a wholly different stripe, showcasing her bluesy, ever expressive chops on a record that refuses to apologize for its contemporary production slickness and unashamed positive vibes. The ghosts of recent personal troubles get swept away by the breezy of "When You Find the One" and the romantic anthem "This Moment" and the wistful "Will You Still Love Me." "Mercy" engages her in a compelling, reflective duet with vocalist Bernie Barlow while the spare, bittersweet "Tuesday Morning" pays tribute to the heroes of 9/11. There's a confidence born of maturity and hard-won wisdom throughout--and the courage to simply play it straight down the middle of the road. --Jerry McCulley
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Melissa shines on this one!
Eileen Finn | Chicago, IL USA | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the heartbreaking "Skin" a couple years ago, Melissa Etheridge has come back with an infectious, addicting, highly emotional, fun cd. Clearly, the tone of the album is polar opposite of "Skin". "Secret Agent", "Giant", "If You Want To" and "Kiss Me" are great rock songs in every sense - lots of guitar, a driving beat, and sexy (as well as amusing) lyrics on "Secret Agent" and "Kiss Me".The title track "Lucky" is the emotional setting of this album, and you will feel the happiness of it in each song that follows. "Tuesday Morning" is a power packed, emotional tribute to Mark Bingham, the gay man who was on Flight 93 with Todd Beamer (of "Let's roll" fame). The song is pointed, political, amazingly well-written, and if it doesn't cover your body in gooesbumps and fill your eyes with tears, you're not breathing."Breathe" is the first single off the album, and I really like Melissa's version of it. It tends to stick in your head, and you'll find yourself humming it absently all the time."Mercy" has a nice blues feel to it, and I think it will be an amazing live piece. "This Moment", "The One", and "Will You Still Love Me" are tender ballads and classic Etheridge writing from her heart. I could go on and on about "Lucky", but instead, I'll just say that if you're a Melissa Etheridge fan or a rock and roll fan or even a fan of great music in general, this is a must have in your collection."
In case you did not hear, Melissa's in love and happy again
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The difference between Melissa Etheridge's album "Lucky" and her previous effort "Skin" is like the difference between night and day, which is just a way of saying that the last time around she was writing and singing about the emotional upheaval of her breakup with longtime partner Julie Cypher and now she is celebrating her new relationship with Tammy Lynn Michaels. Knowing what is happening with Etheridge's love life is useful for decoding the meaning of her lyrics, but as always the fact that she is a lesbian is beside the point because when she writes about being in love the gender is almost always irrelevant. Besides, Bob Dylan did the greatest breakup album of all time with "Blood on the Tracks" so there is more to be said for Etheridge writing songs celebrating love.This clear from the opening title track of the album, which announces the theme of being "Lucky" and works in some nice Rolling Stones like riffs throughout while updating us on the biography of her love life. "I was dried up I was starving I was mangled / I looked like hell, twisted up and tangled", she sings, but then makes it clear the ghosts are gone. "This Moment" is a mid-tempo ballad that best represents her celebration of her new relationship. It is almost become hyperbolic at points ("Tell the angels they'll just have to wait"), but Etheridge's vocal performance keeps everything together and the net effect is too heartfelt to dismiss. "If You Want To" and "Breathe" are more commercially oriented, by which I simply mean these are going to be the ones that get the airplay even if they are not the best tracks on the album (but I was surprised to note that Etheridge did not write "Breathe"; it never occurred to me that any of these songs would not be here own compositions)."Mercy" is a strange sounding song because of its hip-hop backbeat, but has some of the most interesting lyrics with its religious metaphors and the idea: "Oh the peace you say is promised me / Seems too much to comprehend." The song also does something unique but appropriate with the bridge coming at the end of the song, which makes sense, given that it allows the song to build throughout the verses to the climax. "Secret Agent" is the blues oriented track that will remind you why comparisons are often made between Etheridge and Janis Joplin in terms of vocals; this is the one where she lets loose on the wails. She also forces you to think about what she is really up to with the line: "All the boys want to know if she's got something to hide / All the girls are relieved she's working for the other side". There are a lot of songs on this album that I would dearly like to see her do in concert."Will You Still Love" is a small note of self-doubt in this particular mix of songs. It starts off as a simple acoustic guitar piece and I would like to have heard the entire song done that way (it reminds me of Etheridge doing Joan Armatrading's "The Weakness in Me" with just a piano and I think a similar simple approach would really enhance the track). "Meet Me in the Dark" is Etheridge in full Springsteen mode, which makes it seems a bit out of place in this collection.The most powerful song on the album, for totally different reasons, is "Tuesday Morning." This song is about Mark Bingham, a gay male who was one of those who fought back against the terrorists on Flight 93 on 9/11. Etheridge's point is that Bingham was a hero in a country that denied him the same civil rights as other citizens. Along with "Scarecrow," her tribute to Matthew Shepherd, a gay student savagely murdered, "Tuesday Morning" shows Etheridge's power as a protest singer, using simple narratives to drive home her point. "Giant" is another hard rock song that begs for live performance to really come alive. After that one "Come on Out Tonight" just seems to cute, although it harkens back to her first album musically, which is certainly nostalgic, but it is the other weak song on the album. For that matter "Kiss Me" has an opening riff that reminds me of the early days as well, but it is a much stronger song that urges you to "kiss everything away." Finally, in case you missed the point, "When You Find the One" makes it one more time. This is another song that would be quite effective done just with an acoustic guitar (and perhaps even slowed down a bit). Maybe it is because of her "Live...and Alone" DVD that I keep thinking about what songs on "Lucky" would benefit from that type of performance. All things considered this is one of Melissa Etheridge's better albums, and we all know how good those can be. Just put it in the CD and hit continuous play because you are going to want to hear this one a bunch of times in a row before you are willing to move on to something else."
Etheridge Is LUCKY To Rebound From The Dark Depths Of SKIN
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 07/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When last we heard from Melissa Etheridge, she was still reeling from the end of a twelve year relationship, something she captured brilliantly on the powerful, albeit at times dark and painful, SKIN. Ah, how things can change in three years! With the upbeat LUCKY, Etheridge has released her bounciest, most buoyant album to date. Yes, the rockers still rock, but it's the ballads and mid-tempo numbers that really steal the spotlight, and there's an overall sexiness to the disc that's just intoxicating! Opening up the CD is the gently rocking title track. With it's rock solid tight arrangement and strong lyrics about the redemptive power of a new love ("I was dried up I was starving I was mangled/You whispered in my ear/The ghosts are gone it's clear/For too long you've been tied up you've been strangled"), the cut gets things rolling, and we never look back."This Moment" is a gorgeous love song, one that could become a wedding, prom or anniversary standard, and Etheridge delivers it with from-the-gut passion. Lyrics such as "Oh I want to give you the stars/All that I can hold in my arms/Placing them where you lay" never sounded more sincere. Etheridge next kicks out the jams on the rollicking "If You Want To." We've all been here....that phone call we're not sure we should make...and that one that we so desperately want to receive. Absolutely spot-on! "Breathe" is a rarity for Etheridge...a cover tune. Make no mistake, though....with it's amped-up lead vocal and tight, guitar-and-drum one/two punch, this is without a doubt a Melissa Etheridge song! Next we have the delicate "Mercy", one of LUCKY's strongest cuts. With it's gentle sway, haunting backing vocals and honest, unaffected lead vocal, this is the kind of song that gets under your skin and doesn't let go. Add a powerful set of lyrics ("I have survived all of the lies/They made me wise/The locks and walls and the peace it buys") and you have one of Etheridge's best songs to date. "Secret Agent" is a somewhat top heavy rocker that centers around the "Is she or isn't she?" question Etheridge found a lot of people pondering upon first meeting her now-wife. It's a fun song, but it's nothing she hasn't done...and better!...before! "Will You Still Love Me" has a gently classical 60's/70's vibe to it, with hushed instrumentation and a simple lead vocal. Toss in another set of sterling lyrics ("The sky is too high/To paint tonight/The wind is too strong/To hold onto/I'd climb on your roof/And call out your name/But somebody stole my silver shoes") and a killer chorus ("Will you still love me anyway/Will you still need me when you're victorious/Will you still want me when I've nothing to say/Will you still love me anyway") and you have another one of LUCKY's best cuts. "Meet Me In The Dark" is sparse in it's arrangement, but deep in it's content. Beautifully accompanying herself on piano, backed by a thoughtful bass and plaintive cello, Etheridge creates a number that both pleads and soars. Once again, gorgeous! Next up is "Tuesday Morning", a tribute to the one hero on flight 93 from 9/11 who seems to have been swept under the rug. With it's captivating sample from Ella Jenkins to the powerful ending of "Come on let's roll", this song is a political piece, pure and simple, but it's never preachy or over the top. The same can't be said for "Giant", a slice of noisy hard rock that just seems out of place. Burdened by pedantic lyrics and a thudingly crashing arrangement, the track almost succeeds in bringing LUCKY to a grinding halt. "Come On Out Tonight" is quirky and funky, while "Kiss Me" is a steamy, sultry rocker. Closing out the disc is the wistful "When You Find The One." With it's swaying instrumentation (love the accordion!) and simple, honest vocal, Etheridge tells us her story ("I was a slick Midwestern gal/On the long hard road into Southern Cal"), finally admitting that "When you find the one/There's no questioning the silence/All is said and done/When you find the one." It's writing like this that has put Etheridge up there with Wendy Waldman as the female equivalent of Springsteen, Seger, Mellencamp and Adams, earthy storytellers who, at the same time, have loads of heart. Finally, starting a new thing in 2004, I'm giving the CD an extra half star for including the lyrics! So.....plain and simple....pick up Melissa Etheridge's latest....corny as it may sound...you'll be LUCKY you did!"