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Michelle Branch released her album The Spirit Room in 2001. The then-teenage singer enjoyed support from the likes of Madonna and had considerable popular success with her record, particularly first single Everywhere. I remember her music from the time, though I didn't actually buy her album then - it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I purchased it.
Opening track Everywhere stands out, being a mega-catchy slice of guitar pop about unrequited love. You Get Me is also a great poppy track. My favourite song on the album is probably All You Wanted, which is about finding someone who understands and loves you: "all you wanted was somebody who cared".
Optimistic and cheerful guitar pop is the order of the day on this album, and comes out in songs like You Set Me Free, If Only She Knew and I'd Rather Be in Love. Some tracks have a slightly sadder undertone, such as Something to Sleep To ("How could I ever have been so blind") and Here With Me ("I know you had to go away, I died just a little"). However there's nothing incredibly unhappy or tragic here. The saddest song is probably Goodbye to You (featured on Buffy), about the end of a relationship.
Some tracks break the guitar pop mould slightly. Sweet Misery makes use of strings to good effect (and a slightly Enya-like sound in the verse), while closing track Drop in the Ocean is a sweet song with a slightly spaced out, hypnotic sound.
Overall, this album is hardly groundbreaking or highly unusual. However I really like it, especially as a laid-back album to listen to in the summer. It's full of catchy guitar pop and I highly recommend it.
2. You Get Me
3. All You Wanted
4. You Set Me Free
5. Something to Sleep To
6. Here With Me
7. Sweet Misery
8. If Only She Knew
9. I'd Rather Be In Love
10. Goodbye to You
11. Drop in the Ocean
I brought this album a few years ago, I'm sure I must have listened to it before, but this is the first time I've really listened to each track individually, so this review is not just to tell you whether it's a good album, it's also telling me. Here you go:
Who is Michelle Branch?
Michelle is an American singer/songwriter who has not only rose to stardom as a solo artist but in 2004 formed a duo called the Wreckers with her long time friend and musician Jessica Harp.
The album 'The Spirit Room' was released in 2001 by Michelle and her record company Maverick Records. The album was an immediate success and sold over 3 million copies.
Despite the fact it sold well, this is what I think of the album and the tracks:
The track listing for The Spirit Room
Track 1- Everywhere
Definetly one of the best on the album. This was the first single released and it's a brilliant upbeat rock/pop track. It starts off with just a few chords being played and then Michelle's voice comes into play. After the first chorus, the drums and the electric guitar hit in, and it becomes a great pop/rock song. The track is not the best originality track, some may here Avril Lavingne's voice when listenining to this track especially, I know I had a great argument with a friend about whether this was Michelle Branch or Avril singing it, I won of course.
Michelle's voice despite not being too original, is still very strong and this shows in this album. It's very powerfully sung, and she never gets overpowered by the instruments. The instruments are also a great addition to the album, and especially this track. It's very well produced, in this track it goes from just being Michelle and an acoustic guitar and then get's louder with the addition of an electric guitar and the drums but then calms, before finishing with a slow part.
The lyrics in this track are brilliant, nothing that you'll find yourself quoting however they are very nice and quite feel good. It's a song that you need to listen to quite a few times before you see what a brilliant song it is.
Memorable Lyrics: "Just tell me how I got this far
Just tell me why you're here and who you are
'Cause every time I look
You're never there
And every time I sleep
You're always there
'Cause you're everywhere to me
And when I close my eyes it's you I see"
Rating: 8/10 (A very nice track and a brilliant start to the album)
Track 2- You Get Me
Not the strongest on the album by a long shot, but it's still very good. Her voice sounds very different, more childish than Everywhere. I had forgotten she sung this song, I first heard it on the film What A Girl Wants, and was amazed when I realised she sung it. It's a nice little track, nothing that will stand out as a Michelle Branch song, however this is a very nice track.
The lyrics are great, I think Michelle may sound a bit too girly when singing them, but it doesn't deter away from them. A good addition to the album, but will never be something really special. I think the lyrics below are great.
Memorable Lyrics: "So I'm a little left of centre,
I'm a little out of tune;
Some say I'm paranormal,
So I just bend their spoon,
Who wants to be ordinary?
In a crazy,
Mixed up world,
I don't care what they're saying,
As long as I'm your girl"
Rating: 6/10 (The vocals aren't brilliant on this track, Michelle has quite a powerful voice, which comes to form in quite a few songs on this album, but in this track her vocals seem very forced and a bit too childish)
Track 3- All You Wanted
One of the best on the album, this was actually the second single after everywhere. The song is a lot like everywhere, however I really enjoyed this track more than I did Everywhere. It starts off quite bland, but the chorus really hits up. It's one of the rockier ones on the album and really enjoyable to listen to.
This track shows off what I was talking about in the previous track, her vocals are very strong and they deliver the lyrics with a great amount of information. They don't sound forced, they sound natural and this is shown on this track as it's brilliant.
The instrumental pieces on this track are great as well, I think the instruments on Everywhere are stronger, as I liked the use of the acoustic guitar/electric guitar/drums, they were brilliantly used and produced to make such an great instrumental piece. This shows you what to expect for the rest of the album.
Memorable Lyrics: "I wanted to be like you
I wanted everything
So I tried to be like you
And I got swept away
I didn't know that it was so cold
And you needed someone
to show you the way
So I took your hand and we figured out
That when the time comes
I'd take you away"
Rating: 8/10 (A very strong song, technically it is better than Everywhere, however the instruments are better used in Everywhere so I've given them the same rate)
Track 4- You Set Me Free
One of the weaker one's on the album, the song is brilliant, the lyrics work, her vocals are good, and however it's nothing powerful. I think she really could have let her strong vocals loose on this track, but she seems to hold back and it never becomes memorable enough and never something special.
This is another track which sounds a bit too much like something Avril would produce. It may not be unique however it's an upbeat song, which does have a strong melody and it's just put together okay. The lyrics are nice, but nothing too special. It's one of those tracks you enjoy when listening to it, but never remember it.
Memorable Lyrics: "Can't you see?
There's a feeling that's come over me
Close my eyes
You're the only one that leaves me completely breathless
No need to wonder why
Sometimes a gift like this you can't deny"
Rating: 6/10 (Another weak track, quite unmemorable)
Track 5- Something To Sleep On
This is another weaker track. It's quite a slow one, but I think her voice does get overpowered sometimes by the instruments which is a shame. Her voice is still very good however, it's quite haunting, not as powerful as some tracks, which is a shame, but it's still just an alright song.
This track is not one you'll talk about for months to come, the lyrics are good however as is her voice, however it doesn't have anything memorable about it. I think the best songs on the album, seem to have something special when you here them, she should have known that when her vocals are more powerful, the better the track is.
Memorable Lyrics: She's his yellow brick road
Leading him on
And letting him go as far
as she lets him go
Going down to nowhere
She puts on her make-up
The same way she did yesterday
Hoping everything's the same
But everything has changed"
Rating: 6/10 (Another weak track, there's nothing overall bad about it, it's just a bit too slow and her vocals are not as strong)
Track 6- Here With Me
This track is a more of a hip/hop track than a rock/pop track, which is a great change from the rest of the tracks on the album. Again it's nothing special, it's just a good track which flows into the album brilliantly, it's just not one you'll talk about.
The lyrics are powerful, but again her voice doesn't seem too powerful. With the previous three tracks, it sounds like I've got my headphones in the stereo and the speakers turned up quite loud, but it sounds like there's something missing, you don't feel the power that some of her tracks have, they seem pulled back and it always seems like you should be hearing more than what you hear.
It's a nice and quite an interesting track, it's just not as memorable as I would have liked.
Memorable Lyrics: "I know you had to go away,
I died just a little,
And I feel it now,
You're the one I need,
I believe I would cry just a little,
Just to have you back now,
Here with me,
Here with me"
Rating: 7/10 (Not too week, but nothing too strong. It's just a nice, interesting song)
Track 7- Sweet Misery
I actually didn't think I would like this track and I didn't to start with but after listening to it on repeat as I do when I write the reviews, you really start to understand what a great track it is. I think Michelle's vocals do have the headphone sound again, which is a shame, I really expected more from her, considering her vocals on two of the tracks on the album, however the other tracks don't do her much justice.
It's a simple song, but very nicely produced. The different parts of the songs, work so well together, the lyrics are sung beautifully by Michelle, even if they are not as powerful as I would have liked.
I have heard another version of this track since and do believe that version is a lot better than this one.
Memorable Lyrics: "I was lost
And you were found
You seemed to stand on solid ground
I was weak
And you were strong
And me and my guitar,
we strummed along, oh
Sweet misery you cause me
That's what you called me
Sweet misery you cause me"
Rating: 8/10 (Quite a strong track, a grower)
Track 8- If She Only Knew
I actually had to check to see if my headphones were actually plugged in, as I couldn't fathom the fact that her vocals just seem to get weaker and weaker. On Everywhere they are powerful, very powerful, but these tracks are just weak. Not lyrically or musically but vocally. However ignoring her vocals, which are nice but just not what I would expect, the track is pretty good.
It is one of the unique ones on the album, it doesn't seem to be an Avril copycat, it's memorable, but not for a good reason. I always believe the key to a brilliant album is very strong albums and Michelle doesn't seem to deliver on the last 5 tracks, which is why the track hasn't got as good of a rate that it would if her vocals were more powerful. We all know she's got that range, but why doesn't she use it. Disappointing.
Memorable Lyrics: "I don't know whose side I'm takin'
But I'm not takin' things too well
I can see inside you're achin'
But is it still too early for me to tell?"
Rating: 7/10 (A nice track, but nothing special as her vocals are not up to par)
Track 9- I'd Rather Be In Love
Finally! Is all I can say, this is what I've been waiting for. I knew that my favourite was about to come, which is the next track, but I was expecting this to be another vocally poor track, however she sings from her soul and this track is one of the best on the album.
The lyrics are very strong as well as her vocals, when this album came out I believe Michelle was still in her teens, I assume Michelle wrote this as she wrote some of the stronger tracks on the album, which is great. The lyrics are very powerful considering she was still 18/19 maybe younger when this album was released so she was younger when this was written. Very deep and very moving.
This is a stand out track, it's not one you'll remember like you will the next track and Everywhere, however it's a great difference from the previous 6 tracks which were disappointing.
Memorable Lyrics: "Why are we afraid to be in love?
To be loved,
To be loved,
I can't explain it,
I know it's tough to be loved"
Rating: 8/10 (A very strong vocally sung track)
Track 10- Goodbye To You
Now this is what I've been waiting for. I know I'm not the only one, but I first heard Michelle Branch on the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer singing this song. This is what she is truly about. Her vocals are powerful, the lyrics are powerful and the instruments are just right, they accentuate her voice, they don't over power it.
I could listen to this track over and over again and never get bored. Her vocals in this track are just so powerful. They work so well with the lyrics and she seems to finally let herself go. The track however does sound a lot better live, so it would have been nice for that to be a bonus on the CD or something.
The track itself is very soulful, the lyrics are very touching and very heartfelt and you really feel that Michelle puts every ounce of emotion she can into each lyric. This is the best track on the album, by far and it makes up (slightly) for the disaster that was the other tracks.
The track of course, like all singers is about heartbreak, but it's so much more powerful than that, in the lyrics she's talking about saying goodbye to everything she knew, because the person she loved was everything she wanted, the one thing she tried to hold onto, but couldn't. Very powerfully sung.
A brilliant track and well worth trying the link at the bottom to listen.
Memorable Lyrics: "Of all the things I've believed in
I just want to get it over with
Tears form behind my eyes
But I do not cry
Counting the days that pass me by
I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
It feels like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend
And I said"
Rating: 10/10 (The best song on the album, strongly sung, beautiful lyrics and musically it just works)
Track 11- Drop In The Ocean
To start with I wanted to cry when listening to this, after the masterpiece that is Goodbye To You, the start of this track is awful. However more instruments come into play and it begins to pick up pace and it becomes an okay song. Her vocals are existent and are quite powerful, however it never makes up for the start.
A disappointing track to end on, I think this should have been before I'd Rather Be In Love and then the album would have started on two very powerful tracks and then ends on two very powerful tracks.
This track, like the rest of the album, is just listenable. Nothing more.
Memorable Lyrics: "And when you say
It doesn't matter well it does
And all it takes
Is a mistake to eat your words
Just one more time I think I'll drive on home tonight"
Rating: 5/10 (Weakest on the album, mainly because it ruined the album for you, it would have been nice to end on a high, but instead it's just an awful song with weak lyrics)
Like I said earlier, I first heard Michelle Branch singing 'Goodbye To You' on a Season 6 episode of Buffy I think (sad that I remember that), and immediately fell in love with the song. I was straight onto the computer and managed to find a version of it and loved it. This was back before the likes of YouTube and Itunes so I had to listen to a 30second clip off Amazon for quite a while, until I found myself on EBay and brought the album.
I have to admit, this is the first time I've actually sat through the whole album. I used to put them onto my computer, pick the songs I liked and put them straight onto my 'MP3' player at the time. These were the four that I liked on the album, but I had never really listened to the others in full.
What do I think of the album truthfully, I hear you ask? I still have no idea. So I am going to set this section out a bit differently to my other reviews, here is the good and the bad.
Goodbye To You & EveryWhere are extremely powerful tracks. Not only is Michelle's voice amazing, as are the lyrics and the instruments used. They are real stand out tracks on the album and these are actually the ones that get people to buy the album in the first place.
I think the album, is good. It's a nice album, if you like this genre of music. She has a very soft voice, but still manages to fit into the pop/rock genre. She has amazing skills as well, I have just found out she wrote 5 out of the 11 tracks and amazingly these were the ones I love, except for Everywhere. Her skills as a singer/songwriter are out of this world, however she is not as original as you would like.
Her voice is very nice to listen to, she's one of those easy listening singers where you can have the album on in the car and not get a headache or even really notice it's on. This is another one of the bad things however as you don't really notice the album, this is not something that is really good.
Where is the originality? She's one of the easiest artists to compare to another artist, she sounds too much like the likes of Avril Lavingne or Vanessa Carlton, there's nothing really special, nothing that makes you go wow.
You sit, listen and forget, that is what this album is really all about. There are only two tracks that really stick in your head and these are nothing compared to some of the best songs ever released in her kind of genre in my opinion.
Her vocals seemed to be pulled back, you know that she has an extremely powerful voice from Everywhere and Goodbye To You, however the rest of the tracks, you don't get to hear that. They all sound distorted almost. Have you ever sat next to someone on the bus and they had their music on really loud (with headphones in their ears) and you could hear every word of the lyrics, well this is what some of her tracks sound like. Clear but nothing as powerful as you would want to hear.
The album is also extremely safe, there is nothing, including Goodbye To You, that really makes you get goosebumps or makes you think, you'll love that song in years to come. There's nothing really special on it, which is why I'm not a fan. I've always been a fan of originality and this one of the talents she doesn't seem to have.
There is nothing in this album, that you immediately go this will make money, or this song will always be my favourite, it's just a simple and safe album which okay vocals, and good lyrics.
There are four tracks on the album out of eleven, which doesn't sound like I've got my headphones plugged into the socket and I'm having to listen through them instead of the stereo.
Her vocals are strong at the best of times, very strong and when she sings like that, she puts more emotion into her voice, which brings more to the song.
Her vocals overall in this album, were just listenable. Nothing too great, nothing too weak, just like the tracks.
The only really decent song on the album is Goodbye To You, I had heard that song so many times before buying the album I brought it thinking the rest would be as powerfully sung, but I was mistaken. The tracks are never weak however, which is why the overall rating of this album isn't as low as you would think it would be. I've not rated any of them under 5 and this is because they are sung beautifully, nothing too powerful, but still you can't take this away from her gorgeous voice.
I think the tracks are very listenable, but I do believe you have to be a real fan of this type of music to like it. I'm just the type of person who will listen to anything, which is not always good as I struggle to convey why I love such a particular genre so much. This album and the tracks were not for me.
I think this is the best bit about the album, like I said earlier, she writes 5 out of the 11 songs, and you can really tell which one's those are. They are a lot more powerful and more emotionally sung than the rest of the album. All of the tracks on the album have amazing lyrics, I just think her originality ruined this album for me, alongside the fact that her vocals weren't brilliant.
Should You Buy The Album?
I have to admit, before writing this review, I thought this album was alright, but I had never listened to each track individually and I wish I hadn't to be honest. I think this album is ended up straight on EBay now. The lyrics were brilliant, nothing can shine away from that, but there was nothing original, not even in the lyrics, they were sung by an okay singer and not as powerfully sung as I know she could do.
When I first heard Goodbye To You & Everywhere I loved them, so I had to buy the album. I wish I hadn't, the album is in a genre where not everyone can make it and Michelle is one of those ones that really didn't make it with this album.
I've heard half of these songs already on Venessa Carlton's album or Avril Lavingne's album, there's nothing new and this is why I don't believe this album is very good and why you shouldn't buy it.
Check out some of these songs on YouTube:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WaQSJFyQpZs : Goodbye To You
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9BwRWDG-UyY : Every Where.
I quite like female vocalists, I find some of their music to be fantastic. I dont find that as far as solo artists go that male artists have the same appeal. Im a huge fan of Anastacia, Sheryl Crow and recently I discovered a new star to add to my growing list. A friend of mine handed me a copy of this album and said I really think youll like Michelle Branch and I have to say he was right.
This was apparently one of the singles and the song that lead to my friend buying the album in the first place. Throughout the verse there is a calming guitar in the background repeating the same chords whilst Michelles beautiful voice takes centre stage. The chorus is a little more upbeat but keeps the same simplicity with the guitars and her voice sounds totally fantastic. Its also a very well written song and the chorus is really rather catchy.
You Get Me (3.53)
A slow beat kicks this one off and she adds the vocals quite soon afterwards. This is another fantastic track with a soothing introduction and verse. I would say this is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Its really quite simple but sounds fantastic. The drums really lead the vocals and keep a nice steady beat throughout.
All You Wanted (3.37)
A quicker start with the guitar bringing the song to a nice start. Again the chords are quite repetitive but really suit the song. Its quite a slow ballad and again is one of my favourites on the album. It has a very catchy beat and manys the time Ive found myself sat in the car singing along to this. Her voice again is truly breathtaking for another very well written track.
You Set Me Free (3.11)
There is a slightly different feel to this song. It starts much faster than the other tracks but in a similar way is another love song. There is a definite pop feel to this song and it delivers on a lot of promise. Its very catchy and often leaves e feeling like I want to get up and dance. The drums and guitars unite to compliment the vocals well.
Something to Sleep To (4.15)
This again is a slightly different track to a lot of the others. It has quite a slow start with a piano looped introduction while her voice slowly winds into the song. You get the impression this is going to be a superb ballad and that seems to be the direction the song takes. The guitars really take over and combined with the vocals make the perfect compliment for each other.
Here With Me (3.25)
Again a slightly different start to this song. It has more of a pop feel to it again, leaving behind the last tracks ballad feeling. It sounds good and easy to listen to, with again her fantastic voice and some very well written lyrics. The acoustic guitar provides quite a repetitive harmony but this sounds perfect for the type of track it is.
Sweet Misery (3.43)
This song carries on a more poppy feel to the album as the beginning is a little bit quicker than on other tracks. The vocals sound quite familiar and quite unlike any of the other tracks on the album, however they really suit the sound of the song. Its a quite quick song compared to the other tracks and I think thats down to the drums really keeping the song on track. I think its a lovely song and one I could listen to over and over again.
If Only She Knew (4.19)
Another totally different sound for the 8th track on the album and shes really picked up the pace again. There is quite a good guitar loop here under the vocals, which again are sounding fantastic. Her voice seems to be able to touch some great high notes and still keep a nice melody. The pace continues throughout the song with the guitar and drums really keeping it going.
Id Rather Be In Love (3.55)
After the last song the pace slows slightly but not drastically. A slow drum beat starts it off but the guitars are still quite upbeat and the vocals still keep it going at a decent pace. Its a mixture between a pop track and a decent ballad and she pulls off the cross over very well.
Goodbye To You (4.11)
As the name of this song suggests its quite a slow number. The vocals are prominent, while a slow piano accompanies in the background. The guitars come in and the song slowly starts to move a little bit quicker. The lyrics are well written and beautifully sung as Michelle really reaches out and touches the listener.
Drop In The Ocean (4.17)
The final song on the album and quite a beautifully haunting track. The Keyboard leads into the vocals and continues to play in the background and provide quite a haunting sound behind the superb vocals. Its a very slow track that never really gets going into anything else but its really well written and with the keyboard looping all the way it works very well. Its the perfect way to finish the album in my opinion.
This is a beautiful debut album and Im really glad it was recommended to me. As I said I do prefer female vocalists, but even if I didnt I think Id still love this album. She has a fantastic voice and the album offers a good mixture of pop tracks and slow love Ballads. Im looking forward to hearing lots more from Michelle. The album can be bought for £10.99 from amazon.
Thanks for Reading
When I wrote about Vanessa Carlton a few months ago, the comments section of that opinion quickly became an advert for Michelle Branch. Having grouped Carlton together with Avril Lavigne and Norah Jones and one of a group of singer songwriters appearing from the US in recent times, I was chastised for neglecting to mention Michelle Branch. The reason for this being that I didn't really know a great deal about Michelle Branch. Hers was a name I'd heard of, and had read good things about, but hadn't taken the plunge with. But, having also been told that Michelle Branch would possibly be more to my taste, I decided to take the plunge. For no other reason than I'd just missed my train home from work and saw it sitting there in a record shop. The place is called "Impulse" for a reason, and I suspect I may be that reason! Much like Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch seems to be slipping along quietly in the background, career wise. Also missing out on the hype generated around Avril Lavigne by the music press, and that generated around Norah Jones by the Grammy Awards, Michelle Branch has done her own thing, and has sneaked a second release out while the others are still riding the waves of their debuts. Certainly, Michelle Branch has one advantage over the others in that she's a guitarist. Although this isn't necessarily a guarantee of something good, it's perhaps an indication of a sound with a little more edge to it than is common from primarily piano based artists such as Vanessa Carlton or, more recently, Delta Goodrem. So it was with some hope I turned to this album. The album opens with "Everywhere", selected as one of the singles. It's largely acoustic guitar based, but segues into a something slightly rockier, with the vocals suggesting she's aiming for an Alanis Morrisette kind of sound, although Pink is perhaps the closest comparison. "You Get Me" starts
in a way that reminds me a little of Vanessa Carlton, and the slower pace of the track carries this feeling along. The sound is more rounded than Carlton's work, though, and maybe a little closer to an Avril Lavigne ballad or Delta Goodrem. The slower numbers don't appear to be Michelle Branch's forte, though, and she sounds more settled when she's increasing the tempo and rocking out a little more. The next track doesn't do a great deal to change this opinion, sadly. "All You Wanted" starts slowly and quietly, but builds up in much the same way as a 1980's rock ballad. Unfortunately, the final effort sounds like Avril Lavigne again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps falling short of the promise of the idea. "You Set Me Free" is heading more in the right direction again. Although it begins in a similar vein to the previous couple of tracks, the sound builds up more effectively into a mid tempo guitar pop track, similar to "Everywhere", although a little slower and with less of a rock edge. There's quite a mish-mash of influences on "Something To Sleep To". The opening sounds very much like Vanessa Carlton or the Ben Folds Five, although there's an almost Beatles sound to many parts of the overall song. The vocals are more in the style of Pink and there are moments where there's a promise that the song may become a decent rock ballad. Unfortunately, the parts don't really come together as a whole, and this is one of the least appealing tracks on the album. "Here With Me" has a slightly ethereal opening, and parts are more synthesizer heavy than previous tracks. For the most part, it's a mid-tempo pop number, with an acoustic guitar prevalent. It's certainly reminiscent of Lene Marlin for the most part but would probably be a stronger track without the additional effects. The introduction to "Sweet Mis
ery" reminds me very much of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn", even down to the sound of Branch's vocals. While there are again shades of Lene Marlin in the overall sound of the track, another mid-paced pop number. If there was one track that stood out for me right from the first play, "If Only She Knew" is the one. The major difference with this track is that the bass line is a lot more audible than before, giving the song a slightly funky backing, not dissimilar to Green Day's "When I Come Around". It's a cheerful mid tempo pop track with a little nod towards the rock end of the spectrum during the chorus, and the only one that makes me feel like pressing the repeat button. The title of "I'd Rather Be In Love" suggests that this isn't going to be continued, although the introduction has an indie feel to it, and reminds me a little of Muse. The track turns out to have more in common with Natalie Imbruglia again, which is no bad thing, but not quite what was promised. "Goodbye To You" is another ballad, a little heavier on the piano again. Again, Branch's sound is a little more rounded than Vanessa Carlton's, and is more towards the slightly richer sound of Delta Goodrem. Some of the vocal work sounds a little like Avril Lavigne ballad, although Branch's voice doesn't sound quite as if she's straining so hard. The album closes on "Drop In The Ocean", which reminds me of something I can't quite place. It's got a kind of floaty, ethereal ballad type vocal. A surprising increase in the tempo part way through the song suddenly makes it sound like a Tin Tin Out remix. It's different enough from the overall sound to be noticeable, but doesn't really appeal. Despite occasional nods towards harder edged acts, Michelle Branch's sound can really only be described as "heavy pop", which seems to be qui
te popular at present. Fans of current acts such as Amy Studt, Busted and even Avril Lavigne may appreciate a more mature version of what they have been used to from their favoured acts. Fans of Sheryl Crow, Natalie Imbruglia, Lene Marlin and Pink's more recent sound will find something they can relate to and will probably enjoy greatly. After the comments I received, I didn't enjoy this album quite as much as I expected to. It sounds a little more genuine than Avril Lavigne, being without the forced attempts to achieve a punkier sound, but is heavier edged than Vanessa Carlton. Somehow, though, Michelle Branch seems caught a little between the two. This will never be among my favourites, despite a couple of great tracks but wondering how she may develop on the next album combined with the general inoffensiveness of this album will probably persuade me to investigate. This isn't the kind of album you can really play in the background as it does grab you occasionally, but it doesn't have enough to grab you and make you want to listen to it over and over again. As a major label debut, it's a harmless enough pop record, though. At 11 tracks and 42 minutes long, this album is shorter than those released by Branch's contemporaries. However, at only £8.99 for the basic version from CD-Wow, it's worth a look for heavy pop fans. With a second album now on sale, expect to see this album included in future cut price promotions from the major high street retailers. There is an enhanced version available, as well, which Amazon lists as an import for an extortionate £15.99. The additional material, which is only a link to her website, and few photos and the video to "Everywhere", isn't worth this extra amount. However, the enhanced CD is available offline for a regular price of around £11.99. Personally, I'd choose to pay the £8.99 from CD-Wow and go without.
Michelle Branch is a guitar playing young singer with a great voice. Singers like Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow opened the way for singers that can produce their own music as well as play their own instruments. A young singer but nothing like Britney because she is only about music and not just based on her looks, sorry to any of her fans if this offends you. Over the last couple of years many young talented singers have come out with great music. Firstly it was Alicia Keys and then were the likes of Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne who with Michelle Branch is one of my favourite singers at the moment. I will talk about Avril's album in the next review of mine though. At 19 Michelle has written her own album, now I will talk about it. TRACKLISTING _____________ 1.Everywhere 2.You Get Me 3.All You Wanted 4.You Set Me Free 5.Something To Sleep To 6.Here With Me 7.Sweet Misery 8.If Only She Knew 9.I'd Rather Be In Love 10. Goodbye To You 11.Drop In The Ocean 1.EVERYWHERE-The debut single from the album and one of the best songs on the album. A very upbeat song which didn't do brilliant in the charts but it doesn't make me hate it. It is the catchy guitar rhythm that makes me likes this song and the fact that it's so upbeat and great to sing to.I think basically the song is about someone she likes and she keeps seeing him in her dreams and he always seems to be there but he isn't. She sees him everywhere but she wants to know if he sees her. This was the best debut single to have from the album and the video was good for it to. This songs makes the album look promising. The guitar dominates this track in the music which is probably what is meant to happen and her singing is really good with the music. I love the way the song is quite calm at the beginning then she kicks in with the guiatr a bit more and it becomes alive.TIME-3:35 2.YOU GET ME-Not all
guitar in this song but a bit more calm. Michelle's voice is really high and it fits really nicely with this song. The music is very relaxed and it is a sort of dreamy song, if anyone understands that. I really like the chorus it is very gently sounding and everything in the song works great together. Not a song that immediately makes everyone think how brilliant it is but it is not terrible. A different song from Michelle which proves she is not all about strumming her guitar every second. This song is about what everyone thinks of her which is quite different but the person she is singing about, I am guessing a partner gets the way she is and knows how she is more than the other people do. A nice theme of a song which the music shows how she feels.TIME-3:54 3.ALL YOU WANTED-This is a calm and really nice song. I don't know if I would call it a ballad because it is quite upbeat and loud at some parts. I love the chorus it is really lud and the music is great mainly guitar in this song. The theme of this song is confusing to me, I am guessing it is either about her helping someone from somewhere to take them away and to help them. I think I may be wrong it's confusing but the words are really nice to the song. This was the second single released from the album and it again didn't do brilliantly but I still think the song is really good. TIME-3:38 4.YOU SET ME FREE-This starts off very happy and I like the guitar rhythm to begin with. Michelle's voice is really nice in this song and it is a verry calm but happy song. This theme of the song is that there is someone who sets her free and helps her which again is another nice theme for a song. I am sure she writes her own songs so if she does she is very talented. The music doesn't change much in this song but if it did it wouldn't be good. A great song and hopefully a future single. TIME-3:09 5.SOMETHING TO SLEEP TO-This is the first propr ballad of the album and
is quite slow. With not much music and it is something to eleep to. This is about someone who doesn't have their partner around anymore and she used to be everything to him. I like the chorus it is a bit more wakening with more music in it and Michelle's sings quite powerfully in it. This is a relaxing song and a very nice one. Not one of my favourites but I don't hate it. TIME-4:13 6.HERE WITH ME-This begins really calmly and the music is quite bizarre but anyway another calm song. I think Michelle's voice stands out an awful lot in this song which I don't htink doesn't make her voice sound so great she needs a lot of music to help her a lotin this song. The chorus is good though and the music kicks in a bit more . This song is mid-tempo. The theme of this is that she had changed and thought she didn't need the person but now she would do anything to have him back with her. Some very nice words in this song. TIME-3:25 7.SWEET MISERY-This begins strangely with weird music and then Michelle sings.This is not one of the best songs because I don't really think Michelle's voice is that nice with the music on this song and this is quite dull. I don't know how to explain what this song is about so I won't. TIME-3:43 8.IF ONLY SHE KNEW-This begins with a good guitar rhythm and a happier note. This is more Michelle's kind of song good singing great guitar and a good rhythm. I like this song it's more upbeat which I like and very good. I am sure this is about someone trying to find out if they like someone but the person doesn't know. Confusing explanation but I hope you understand. A simple piece of music but works well. TIME-4:19 9.I'D RATHER BE IN LOVE-This begins quite slowly and the it goes on a bit. Not too upbeat just another mid-tempo one. This is not a favourite not much of a song to me. It sounds too similar to the rest. The title really explains what the song is about.
A nice song a the album is nearing an end. TIME-3:55 10.GOODBYE TO YOU-This is a brilliant ballad and I really like this song. When Michelle was on Buffy The Vampire Slayer this is the song she sang I think. It is really nice and the words are lovely. This shows off her voice so well and how powerful it can sound. The chorus gets better and it is a beautiful song. A very nice ballad and every album needs one. I am sure this is about her breaking up with someone and the stages after a break up. TIME-4:11 12.DROP IN THE OCEAN-This is a slow song to end the album. Not sure if I really like this a bit too full. Michelle doesn't sing in this song as well as she could but I think she makes the most of it. There isn't much music to this, it's nice but not that great. TIME:4:18
There are times when you buy an album not knowing what to expect, then there are times when you buy albums you expect to be brilliant that end up terrible, but then there are ones that you just don't want to give a bad review for one of many reasons - maybe you know the singer, or perhaps your lover/partner/best friend is mad about the artist or perhaps everybody but you love the album. With 'The Spirit Room' I fell into one of the above categories, luckily however I don't have to give it a bad review, not since I heard Dido's debut Solo album have I been so blown away by a female vocalist's album, the strength in the voice, the maeningfulness of the lyrics and the genuine feeling you get when you hear it for the first time, if I didn't know better I'd say that Michelle was miming to a more mature artists voice - but she isn't. A little bit of background on Michelle though, even to this day she's only 19 but she already has 2 albums under her belt, a record contract with Maverick (Madonna's label) and a spangling future ahead of her, ever since the age of 14 when she first got her guitar she's been creating music that made people all around her feel inspired and emotionally high. As she got older she finally decided that she had to get her name out there in the big wide world and started off by releasing the white-label album 'Broken Bracelet' in 2000 to an unexpecting almost under-ground group of American music-loving fans, all of a sudden female solo artist didn't mean 'Britney Spears' or 'Billie Piper', it meant talent and skill and music that actually meant something. It wasn't long before talent scouts picked up on this up and coming star and sooner rather than later she was noticed and signed up to the big time aka Maverick Records, they put their faith in her and gave her a worldwide release with 'The Spirit Room' a mix of new tracks wit
h the best of her previous album 'Broken Bracelet' and the rest as they say is history, she's a worldwide musical superstar, everywhere she goes people know her name and its all finally come right for her. But enough about my gushing love of Ms.Branch, its a CD review thats needed here and its a CD review you'll get, so read on and realise that right at this very minute you're cheating on your Stereo by not playing her album. 1. Everywhere: the first song of Michelle's to be released in the UK (but not the first one I ever heard though - heh!) and to be honest, this is Michelle at her best, as it seems happens a lot of the time she'd released the song right when the lyrics really meant something to me, a song about falling for someone and constantly dreaming about them whilst never actually being with them. If you're wondering what to expect when you hear just close your eyes right now, think what it was like when Sheryl Crow started to go just a tad more rocky and less cliche (All I wanna do anyone?) and you've just about got it, and this is never any more clearer than when you listen to 'Everywhere'. Starting out you'd be forgiven for expecting a true pop sound within this track but as it slowly evolves you realise that Michelle's going all out to get the rock and pop sounds mixed together just perfectly and luckily she's done just that. It's the kind of track that gets you singing along as you walk down the street or on the train, the tune to it is infectious, it gets you tapping your fingers in the day without even realising it and makes you want to sing out loud, it just has that effect. As it moves on you'll find that you never want the track to stop, however the album just keeps getting better and better, especially when you get............. 2. You Get Me: On my first time hearing this song to be honest I was a tad disappointed, it was a bit s
lower than Everywhere and knowing Michelle's preferred taste in her musical style I just thought it wasn't up to her usual high standard, and it shocked me when it appeared on her first major release. However, its grown on me, its a slow track, a bit slushy but still having the pop-rock undertones that have now become trademark to Michelle's releases, and this is the thing that really attracted me to her style of music, she puts soul into her songs, not just this one - every one, to see her play live it is instantly noticeable that she's still in awe at how far she's come, but its all deserved. No matter though, when listening to this song first, don't worry, listen to it a few times and you'll start to feel it grow on you, I know its slow and its a lot different to the rest of the album, but its a great track, it just needs a chance. 3. All You Wanted: Some people call it the track of the album, when she's playing a concert this is the track the fans expect her to play, but in my eyes no matter how good it is, it isn't the best track on the album (that one shall come later). But its still brilliant, much like every other song on the album, its got the kind of words that make you want to just sing along in the street, luckily I can get away with it at least in Grimsby by claiming I'm practicing for my bands latest gig (hah!). But more about the song itself, its back to the original stylings that I've come to expect from Michelle, there's a subtle undertone of Rock and you can tell that this is where Michelle's happiest - playing her style of music not being controlled by everyone else, once again there's pure emotion here, she's proud of what she's got here - and it shows. When an artist really enjoys what they do its obvious via the quality of their work - and its obvious here, there's passion, fire and the most utmost quality a song needs: creativity, i
ts all there - just listen and find out. 4. You Set Me Free: There's a will, There's a way, the perfect words to describe this song, its been said before that Michelle had trouble writing this track but on hearing it you'll be glad that she did, it's Michelle at her best - she's making the listener feel better about him or herself whilst playing a soft-rock sound. The whole writing of the song is that of pure ecstasy - she's showing a true pleasure here, and it shows that she's relieved that she got the song finally wrote. As with most albums I find this one hard to review - I like it, I don't know why, but I do. 5. Something To Sleep To: To listen to the song without really listening to the lyrics you?d be forgiven for thinking that you're listening to a sorrowful song, but believe me you're not - it just seems to be a celebration of the end of a relationship, which yeah it isn't the best track to feel happy to, but don't ask me why because it does. As with all of the tracks on the album, Michelle's putting her soul into the music that she's playing, and the actual music is what makes the track, its a hummable (made up words rock) tune that lets you just lose yourself in the music. As it all goes on you will find that people stare at you in the street - as when Michelle launches into the chorus, its the type of music that just completely takes over your body, once again - give it a listen and you'll see how great a singer you're missing if you don't already own the album. 6. Here With Me: You want emotion, then you've got it here - that's the one thing that you'll find throughout this album - Michelle's really pouring her heart out here, and to be honest she's just so happy that she's hit the big time so early in her career, but back to the song. As you can expect the lyrics are referring to an unknown person th
at Michelle would prefer to be with her than thousands of miles away, and as it goes along the wording of the song does get the listener thinking about the meaning behind the words and its possible to completely forget about the music she's playing as well, however you?d be forgiven to do that as her heavenly voice does make the listener drift away. 7. Sweet Misery: Remember that a while back in this review I said I'd mention the best song on the album later on - well I'd better get around to it hadn't I? it's this one - its the song on the album that sends shivers down my spine, and sends me almost into a euphoric trance. Its slow, its mournful and to be totally honest its not the kind of song you'll usually find Michelle singing, its not her favourite style and it is the type of song that would make anybody feeling sad get even worse, but its those songs that make the best ones, look at Everybody Hurts by REM and Candle In The Wind by Elton John, both of which are well known to bring tears to peoples eyes - but they're 2 of the best songs that ever were. Once again Michelle's voice just accentuates the sound that comes out of your speakers when playing the track, she's so soulful its hard to believe that she's still in her teens, and to listen to this track I get a feeling of a 'cheery' Beth Orton (a sad song and I still think that she's a cheery version of someone else - you obviously haven't heard Beth Orton's work have you?), as the song goes on it does seem to get a tad more upbeat, but the lyrics keep listeners on a low par emotionally, but a high pair acoustically. 8. If Only She Knew: And its back to basics for Michelle, mournful but almost chirpy music and lyrics, but I have to say that this is my least favourite song on the album - not because of the music, but the subject matter - Michelle telling an ex-boyfriend that she still loves him and knows that he feel
s the same even though he's in another relationship - lets just say that that isn't the best way to endear yourself to me! However that's only a slight niggle, once more she's produced something that gets you tapping your toes along with the sounds that she's produced, even the backing singers repeating 'Na-Na-Na-Naaa-Na-NaNa' is catchy enough to keep your average listener going, and when you're one of the singers greatest fans, well its just 100% better. 9. I'd Rather Be In Love: More mournful lyrics, and anyone who knows the Michelle of old would be feeling that perhaps outside influences have noticed that this is her best type of song for the listener, and all through the album there's just a strong feeling of Sheryl Crow peering through, just with a lot more in the way of meaningful lyrics and 10 times better than Crow ever was. Back to the song, it seems to have a fast and quirky upbeat sound, even though the lyrics do put the listener on a bit of a downer, its just one that pulls on the heart-strings and makes the listener be aware of the strength and passion that Michelle's put into this album. Just one slight niggle with the track, it's the ending - it seems to be a bit of an anti-climax, Michelle starts to sound as if she's ready to launch into one of the solo guitar spots that she enjoys to incorporate into all her tracks but instead its just a bit of a rush - then nothing, but its only slight and nothing to down-rate the album over. 10. Goodbye To You: Slow, Melodic and actually rather good (notice how there isn't one track I dislike in this album?) - there's a feeling that this one is something rather special, it doesn't involve the long guitar solos that are familiar to Branch-ette's its more a song where she gets to show off her vocal skills and makes any doubter of her talent feel rather foolish. But sadly once again, I can't p
ut my finger on what it is that makes me love the song so much - and maybe that's why its so good - its a song I can just lie back and listen to. 11. Drop In The Ocean: Oh the last song on the album, no fair!, but its still good - and a very experimental style by Michelle, there's an introduction to electronically enhanced music, the backing music is mostly from computers, and it makes for weird but wonderful listening, its slow and soulful still, but its just the weirdness that makes it. Halfway through the track expect the electronics to end and hear Michelle singing over a faint background noise, but don?t fret - as the electronic sound does come back (which is actually a good thing), its weird but a secret rule of the album world is to make the last track so interesting that you can't wait for the next album, and on this performance it's worked for Michelle, and its worked big time! Right - that's the review of the album over, its a secret treasure of mine, its something that makes me sound cool when I mention to friends and colleagues about my musical preferences, anyone out there who's heard Michelle's work before will be pleased to know that she has a bank of songs ready and waiting for a new album, and shes also writing new material to be released in the Summer of next year, its a long wait - but going by the strength of this album, it'll be worth it. For more information on Michelle Branch try: http://www.michellebranch.net http://www.michellebranch.com http://www.michellebranch.dot.nu http://www.michellebranch.ca http:www.michellebranch.co.uk
I’m totally loving the new invasion of indie/pop princesses. There huge in America but when are they going to be shown the light of day in this country? My sister decided to buy me a CD by Michelle Branch. At the time I had absolutely no idea who the heck Michelle Branch was but decided to give the CD a listen and ever since I’ve been a huge fan of the talented girl. Teenage pop starlets are usually beautiful, leggy, blonde creatures who can’t really sing but are lovely to look at. Am I right or am I right? The concept of another Britney in the making has become somewhat dull and there is really no need for ANY more. Young singers such as Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, Norah Jones and Avril Lavigne are finally doing something different and being judged upon their talent, not just their appearance. All I can say is Go Girls! Michelle Branch is a apart of the new breed and young solo female singers who dont need to be half naked to get noticed. Michelle grew up in Arizona and did a lot of performances in her hometown. She was relatively unknown stateside but continued to write songs and play her guitar at a very early age. Her determination seemed to pay off as she was the opening act for the then teen sensation Hanson. She released her first album “Broken Bracelet” but it really failed to do anything in the charts.Michelle was then signed to Madonna’s Maverick record label which instantly shows she must be very talented if the queen of pop noticed her. This was a big deal and in interviews with Michelle she would always be asked about how she was noticed and the fact that she was signed to Madonna’s record label. At only 19 years of age Michelle proves she’s beyond her years as she writes her own material and plays the guitar. This seems to be a trend in the US these days; do you think this is the end of the Britney’s and the Christina’s? I think it does show talent the fact that she produces her
own material. Michelle has quite a unique voice, the way she signs is totally different to everyone else. She has her own style, it could be described as whiny singing but hey at least it sounds good. I think it is different to everyone else’s style of singing and that is definitely what I like about her. The album is a mixture of pop and soft rock. The strumming guitar, soft rock element and the catchy choruses make this album addictive as hell. This album will definitely satisfy pop lovers but it also has that rock sound that gives the album an edge. I think in America they would call this type of music preppy pop music, songs you would be most likely to hear in Dawson’s creek or on any college campus really. Notably this album is quite mature compared to many pop acts out there, lyrically. Michelle herself is young but her writing style is quite mature. The Spirit Room isn’t Michelle’s debut release. It’s her second album but her first Album “Broken Bracelet” failed to do anything in the charts. I love the way the track listing is set out. Each song is different to the next in some way so it’s not like your listening to the same track over and over. I think it has all been set out perfectly and starting the album with her first release “everywhere” was definitely the right choice. The songs don’t really have any complex meanings and can be understood quite easily which is good as most of the songs have good lyrics and meanings. I personally think Michelle got inspiration from Alanis Morissette yet her style is not as cynical as Alanis'. Michelle recently performed at “Party In The Park” and I tuned in just to see what she would be like and she just as amazing live. She works her voice really well but one thing that irritated me was the fact that the crowd failed to get going. That just proves she isn’t really famous here. I have simply one questio
n. Why? She’s talented, has a great voice, plays her own instrument, writes her own material and HELLO the queen of pop noticed her! THE TRACKS~~ EVERYWHERE "Cause you're everywhere to me, and when I close my eyes it's you I see" This was the song that made me think this album might actually be quite good. It just a beautiful start to a wonderful album. I think a lot of people might feel that they can relate to this song. It’s definitely addictive. It kind of starts out with a soft pop sound but when the song gets going it’s definitely got a more soft rock sound to it. This song is extremely infectious and very catchy. This was the first release off the album and definitely the ideal start to the album. This is probably my most favourite song because I love everything about it. The way it was produced, the lyrics, the guitar and the overall sound. I always find myself singing along to this song whenever it’s on. I think absolutely anyone can love this song, not just soft rock lovers, but pop and indie fans. I wouldn’t categorise this song anyway because it’s kind of a mix of loads of music genres. 9/10 YOU GET ME "You get me, when nobody understands, you come and take the chance, baby, you get me" When I first put this track on I thought, wait a minute this isn’t Michelle. She sounds quite a bit different compared to the way she sounds on some of the other tracks. This song has a tune that is instantly likeable and that’s what I love about this track, it didn’t take time for it to grow on me, I liked it straight away. I kind of connect this song to summer, don’t ask me why but it just has that whole summery vibe about it. Lyrically the song is excellent and the lyrics are definitely worth listening out for. It is a slow song but has a very romantic side to it. I love the fact that this song is kind of romantic. It
217;s such a sweet song. Even though Michelle sounds somewhat different on this track her voice still sounds amazing. 9/10 ALL YOU WANTED "I'm sinking slowly, so hurry hold me, your hand is all I have to keep me hanging on" I love this song because it’s such a sweet song with lovely lyrics. It was the second release off the album and is a bit similar to “everywhere” but still different. The style is quite similar to “Everywhere” and is probably a good choice for the second single as it isn’t too different. I absolutely love the lyrics and I think anyone can relate to this song. If you aren’t really sure about listening to Michelle’s music I would recommend this song as it’s just so lovely. I love this song because the melody is great and it’s just one hell of a catchy song. For a few days I couldn’t get this song out of my head and kept singing it just like I did with “Everywhere”. The vocals on the song are brilliant and I think its one of the stand out tracks. 9/10 YOU SET ME FREE "You're in my heart, the only light that shines, there in the dark" The first thing I noticed about this track was the catchy and infectious beat. This song is quite up tempo and definitely would be classed as one of the happier, catchy tunes. This is one of the songs I liked straight away and it didn’t need to grow on me. This is an instantly likeable track. I just loved the tune first time I heard it. The lyrics are also so lovely and different. I think Michelle sings this song perfectly and her voice suits the style of the song. The vocals are great on this track. The thing I love about this song most is that it has a summery vibe to it (like quite a few songs on the album) which makes it so much more likeable. The overall sound of the song is great and I’m sure this song would stand out to the more commercial audie
nce. 7/10 SOMETHING TO SLEEP TO "In my mind, everything we did was right, open your eyes, I'll still be by your side" This is definitely one of those chill out songs, but with a melodious guitar sound in the background. This isn’t one of my favourite songs on the album but still it is good to listen to. I think you’d need to be in a chill out to be able to enjoy this track. The tune does sound very familiar to me but I can’t really work out where I’ve heard it before. The song has a bit of retro sound to it, a bit similar to “Sweet Misery” but more up tempo. The way this song was produced is excellent and everything goes together perfectly. I can’t imagine this song being a future single. It’s got a good tune and is quite catchy too. This is another one of those ‘growers’. You’ll probably hate it at first but with time it’ll slowly grow on you. 6/10 HERE WITH ME "You know that silence is loud when all you hear is your heart, and I wanted so badly just to be a part of something strong and true, but I was scared and left it all behind" When the song starts it kind of has a strange sound effect in it and that really stopped me from liking the song much but it just grew on me like most of the other stuff on the album. It’s a lot more chilled out than some of the other tracks and some might say has a bit of a depressing vibe to it but that’s what makes this song so special. This song is good but I think the chorus keeps it going as the verses aren’t really as exciting as the chorus. The song is a bit slow in the verse but picks up in the chorus. It isn’t really as strong as some of the other songs but still very catchy. The song is ideal for relaxing and chilling out to, and I’m sure a lot of people will feel that they can relate to this song. Her style of singing is also very good on this song
. 7/10 SWEET MISERY "I was weak, and you were strong, and me and my guitar, we strummed along, oh" This song has quite a retro beginning and is quite reminiscent of the 80’s pop icons but as you get into it, it becomes a lot more guitar based. To be honest I wasn’t too fond of this song when I heard it for the first time but the most I listened to it the more it grew on me. The song has a somewhat depressing vibe about it but this could also be a chill out vibe to others. I do like the vibe of the song as it isn’t all happy and cheery but more sentimental and sad. The slow beats on the song match up with the guitar sound and Michelle’s chilled out way of singing. You probably won’t like this song if you don’t enjoy depressing, lyrical songs but hey this is the type of song that would probably grow on you with time. 7/10 IF SHE ONLY KNEW "I try to let it go, but I don't know if I can take it, 'cause the way you looked at me, made me see that I can't really fake it" This song starts out with quite a heavy beat but as the song gets going it mainly focuses on Michelle’s vocals and that’s the best part about this song. She does sing quite a bit louder than she does on the other tracks which does show off her vocal talent a bit more. Some of the other songs on the album can sound quite similar to other tracks but this song is much more original and different. Also the tone of this song is just right; the loud beats go well with Michelle’s louder style of singing. I think the strumming guitar sounds perfect on this song as well. The tune is perfect and this song is very likeable. It should definitely be put into the slow, chill out tracks category. 7/10 I'D RATHER BE IN LOVE "'Cause when there's you, I feel whole, and there's no better feeling in the world" This is just such a beauti
ful song. I love the guitar sound on the track and Michelle does sound somewhat different but this is definitely a classic track. For some reason it reminds me of the Avril Lavigne song “Complicated” as it has quite a similar sound but it’s different in its own way. I love the way Michelle sings on this song because her voice is different a bit more whiny but hey it sounds good! The slow sound to the song emphasises the gorgeous lyrics too. I wasn’t really keen on this song to begin with but it did eventually grow on me and I know love it. I just started to relate to the lyrics and I absolutely love the melody. Overall it has a lovely sound to it with lovely lyrics. If you like Avril’s song “complicated” I’m sure you’ll love this. 8/10 GOODBYE TO YOU "Goodbye to you, goodbye to everything I thought I knew, you were the one I love, the one thing that I tried to hold on to" This soft song starts off to a strumming guitar which sounds amazing. I love songs with this kind of sound so I knew I was going to love this song. For Buffy fans this song might sound familiar as it featured in an episode of the show. This song is definitely one of my favourites as the song itself is based on Michelle’s lovely voice and the strumming guitar sound. There are some nice beats added in there as well which just makes the song sound even better. This is definitely one of my, soft, melancholy guitar playing favourite songs on the album because of the soft strumming guitar sound. The soft, melancholy guitar sound is so sweet and lovely and I think it’s one of the best things in the song. Also I think a lot of people will feel that they can relate to this beautiful song. 9/10 DROP IN THE OCEAN "Love took me by the hand, love took me by surprise, love led me to you, and love opened up my eyes" This is probably my least favourite song on the album becaus
e its just too slow for me. It has a really eerie, haunting sound to it which isn’t exciting in any sense of the word. I think this is an awful finish to the album. It’s just weird and hard to describe. Once the strange intro finishes you kind of get into the song I must admit it does improve but is still too slow and eerie. This song would probably be more of a chill out song but I would find it far too difficult to chill out to this as it’s too haunting. Michelle’s style of singing has also somewhat changed to suit the sound of the song and her singing is a bit soft yet strong. Toward the end of the end of the song there are loads of louder beats added to the song making it sound a lot less eerie but still, I don’t really understand the point of that as there’s not much left to the song. I have to admit this song was the only one I didn’t like. Don't really agree with this song being the last on the album as it should have finished with a more slower song. This song just seems to lack any sort of feeling. 5/10 OVERALL~~ Overall I think this album is definitely worth picking up. I think it’s for everyone, as it does have elements that would attract people who love loads of different types of music. I think Michelle has a unique style and should definitely continue to make more music as I think she will progress in a good way. Unlike a lot of young artists out there Michelle's music seems to have real meanings and full of emotion and feeling. Compare say "You get me" with Britney's "Boys". See you get the picture. Her style of writing is also exceptional and shines through in her powerful yet beautiful singing. Personally I don’t really usually like this kind of music but for some reason I love this album, I loved the majority of the tracks which was a bit surreal to me as I don’t usually like most songs on an album of this kind. See if I can like i
t I’m sure loads of you out there will too. The album has songs which are quite mainstream and not as underground as they seem. The sound is quite different in a sense but don't think you wont like just because she's not in the top ten music charts. Many people might believe that this album is for supposed rock fans but trust me this album is probably more commercial than you’d think. There are some elements on the album which are new to the UK but there some very familiar sounds on the album making it more mainstream. This album is very accessible. The sound Michelle brings to the UK should be appreciated! I mean come on, what is happening to the UK music charts? S Club Juniors (Please, Please go away!), H & Claire (Urm, aren’t they steps anyway?) and all those annoying pop idol’s (Why are you doing this to us?!). I think Michelle has a brilliant sound and her music is brilliant. Go pick up this album if you like pop, soft rock and indie. It might be a bit too commercial for hardcore indie and rock fans but for pop fans wanting to convert to rock and indie fans I think it would be a good start. I know so many people who refuse to listen to commercial radio but still love this album so I think anyone could love it. If you like artists like Natalie Imbruglia, Alanis Morrisette or any of the new female solo singers out there Michelle's debut is a must for you. So do you think she’ll put the Britney’s and Christina’s out of business? Record Label - Maverick Records Official Site - http://www.michellebranch.net/ Purchase "The Spirit Room" from http://www.amazon.co.uk for only £11.99 (`*·.¸(`*·.¸¸.·*')¸.·*')® «°'¨`·.°BabyGirl°.·'¨`°» (°¸∆.·''(¸.·'''·.¸)`' ·.∆¸°)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 You get me
3 All you wanted
4 You set me free
5 Something to sleep to
6 Here with me
7 Sweet misery
8 If only she knew
9 I'd rather be in love
10 Goodbye to you
11 Drop in the ocean