View Full Version : Michelle Branch - "The Spirit Room" True inspiration in music

August 14th, 2001, 05:47 PM
14 August 2001

Who'd have ever thought that someone who was making "Shameless Self-Promotions" to her friends for her independent album Broke Bracelet not even two years ago would now be on her way to stardom with her major label debut The Spirit Room and her smash single Everywhere? As someone who has followed Michelle's music from the recording and release of Broken Bracelet to her break with Maverick Recording Company A&R while opening for Hanson in Los Angeles last summer, to the recording and release of her major label debut, I probably have a different take on The Spirit Room than someone who has only heard Everywhere. As far as albums go, I don't think this one measures up to anything legendary by any means, but in a time where synthetic teen pop and overmixed R&B rules the airwaves, Michelle's music has been hailed as a welcome breath of fresh air. Radio stations all over the United States have been spinning Everywhere nonstop and have been giving the song nothing but praise. There was a vacant niche in popular music waiting to be filled with something that was new and different, but still didn't stand out like a sore thumb in a station's programming. Michelle Branch came just at the right time, when people were becoming tired with overproduced and oversynthesised music, and were looking for something similar, but different. They were looking for something like what was out there, but better.

The Spirit Room is a perfect example of a CD that has a little bit of something for everyone. Fans of modern folk music will enjoy the acoustic guitar and the feel of some songs that has been compared to Jewel by some. Fans of the current pop circuit will appreciate the high-energy songs and the general feel-good mood of the album. Rock fans will appreciate the slight edge to Michelle's vocals and the beefy electric guitar blended with the softer accoustic making for a sort of organic rock sound. Not only does the music appeal to music fans of many genres, but of many ages as well. The video for Everywhere has been video pick of the week on Nickelodeon, is steadily rising up MTV's TRL countdown, and is played several times a day on VH1.

Breaking the album down, the songs can be divided into two categories - those that were on Broken Bracelet and those that are brand new. To someone who has only heard The Spirit Room the songs seem to flow in and out, one into another rather well on the album. To someone who has heard Broken Bracelet and is now hearing remade versions of some of the songs from that album, however the listening experience is one such where the songs are neatly divided into those two categories. Both Sweet Misery and If Only She Knew sound completely different on The Spirit Room, with new verses and in comparison to the original recordings, a slightly overproduced sound for the songs, however I do like the use of the electric guitar in the chorus of If Only She Knew, it gives it the appropriate edge for the mood of the song. I'd Rather Be In Love and Goodbye To You keep the original sound of the songs intact, and the added instrumentation and the extra production on these songs actually made them richer and fuller sounding than the independently recorded versions.

With a blend of musical styles and a blend of revamped and brand new material, this album not only has something for everyone, but gives new fans a look into the past and old fans a look into the future of Michelle Branch's music. Unlike many new musical acts that are popping up left and right these days that have little creative input, you can actually hear the evolution of the music in this debut album that is a true reflection of the artist themself. And that in itself is a breath of fresh air - by definition a true inspiration.

August 14th, 2001, 05:54 PM
You rock at writing these things. :D

August 14th, 2001, 08:09 PM
Thanks! I feel so loved...

August 28th, 2001, 04:37 PM
Favorite Songs: Everywhere, Goodbye to You, If Only She Knew
Sites: http://www.michellebranch.net (official)
http://fan.quasi-evil.com/mb/ (fanlisting with lyrics and photos and such)

Anyone else?

I'm hoping Michelle's popularity will minimize the widespread pop culture. I love her voice and lyrics, and overall style. *sighs happily and revs up Michelle Branch playlist on WMP. :D:D *