"After all the hemming and hawing, GATHER ME remains one of Melanie's very best recordings. Of course there are the Melanie purists who complain about the orchestration. Fans who feel presenting their Goddess with anything more than an acoustic guitar and a microphone is presenting a sullied Goddess indeed. But the musical arrangements on this album are almost uniformly brilliant providing an advantageous setting for both Melanie's vocals and songwriting. Her singing also matures dramatically with this album. She never had difficulty belting it out, but the quieter phrases here are much deeper and sustained. There is a mellow, rich quality throughout this album that, nearly thirty years later, is still quite effective. Of course this is also the album that contains BRAND NEW KEY, the huge hit that unfortunately pegged her forever as a novelty singer of cute little ditties. The speed with which this single sunk her commercial career is remarkable. Something that often gets lost in all this is just what an effective and appealing pop song BRAND NEW KEY is. The lyrics, not nearly as precious as one might suppose, mesh delightfully with the 30's nickelodeonesque arrangement. How unfortunate that doing something well backfired so completely. The other remarkable thing about BRAND NEW KEY is how much of an anomally it is to the rest of this album. Most of these songs are thoughtful, sophisticated efforts burnished with an ascendent maturity. The world weary, almost country western LITTLE BIT OF ME, the simply briliant STEPPIN', RAILROAD and KANSAS, are virtually flawless. SOMEDAY I"LL BE A FARMER and BABY DAY revisit the BRAND NEW KEY territory a bit, but there is a sardonic aspect to all these songs that resolutely removes them from overly cute catagory. CENTER OF THE CIRCLE, perhaps not her strongest bit a songwriting benefits immensely from the gorgeous, almost cinematic musical and vocal arrangement. There are some slips. WHAT WONDEROUS LOVE IS THIS, doesn't quite work and RING THE LIVING BELL, the second, smaller hit from this album hasn't aged terribly well. As time passes it seems more and more like an uninspired attempt to mine the anthemic vein so successful in CANDLES IN THE RAIN. Yes, she may have been edgier earlier on, yes, she is brilliant alone and unaccompanied, but GATHER ME marks her arrival as a fully realized artist. A period that would continue through the next four or five studio albums she produced. Melanie was at her best here. How unfair that, due to BRAND NEW KEY fallout, these fine pieces of work were largely ignored."
One of her best
weetam | New Jersey | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Melanie's career never really took off. Certainly, during the early 70's she was one of the most creative forces in music. But, her commerical decline was fast and abrupt, here today; gone tomorrow.
There are numerous reasons for her decline,the main being, poor management and bad choices.
Gather Me is her best album, hands down. It is not, however, without flaws. "Baby Day" is too cute for its own good and reinforces her hippy-dippy image. The rest of the songs are the strongest of her misguided career.
"Steppin" is the most intelligent song about breaking up since Carole King's "It's Too Late". "Ring The Living Bell" although now dated, showcases her vocal strength and her ability to work a song for all its worth. "Some Say I Got Devil" is an incredible song with a near perfect song structure. "What Wondrous Love" captures Melanie at her heart- felt best. She sings this song with great passion and conviction, or to put it simply, I was moved. "Brand New Key" & "Some Day I'll Be A Farmer" might appear as cute little ditties, but beneath their cute surfaces are shades of deeper meaning. Sadly, most people missed her messages in both these songs. "Brand New Key" is about the joy of liberation whereas "Farmer" is about the joys of not having lofty goals, but goals that are and simple and pure.
This is Melanie best album, even better than the much acclaimed "Photograph", wherein she tries just a bit too hard. The Melanie of Gather Me is Charming and honest, a point missed by almost everyone. This is a woman who had so much promise, but sadly the forces that guided her career just saw her as an ideal, an ideal that was already terribly dated."
REALLY Wish that someone would release this CD so I buy one
Gary Ostreicher | Phoenix, az United States | 10/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is so great. It is a shame that it's not available. This is so great a CD and it is not available anywhere I know of...shhheetttttt."
I want this CD!
L Peterman | Jackson, NJ | 06/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been humming these songs in my head since I was young, and now that I have my kids singing Simon and Garfunkel, I'm dying to introduce them to Melanie! There are songs and versions of songs on this album that aren't on the other CD's currently available. Please release this album!"