Newest Review: ... 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 Wan... more
Give Brit Hell, Michelle
The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch
Member Name: BabyGirl*
The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch
Date: 07/08/02, updated on 07/08/02 (167 review reads)
Advantages: Very Talented, Wrote The Whole Album Herself, Plays The Guitar, Quite Deep And Meaningful Lyrics, Doesn't Get Too Repetitive , Good Style Of Singing, Not Just Another Pop Princess
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!
"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
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
"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 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
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