Monday, January 03, 2011

Michelle Branch - The Spirit Room

Release Date: 08/14/01
Genre: Pop Rock

and all you wanted was somebody who cared

Review: How cute, blogger loves to autosave my entries.  I started this review back on July 1st, 2009 and was planning to post it the next day in honor of Meech's 26th birthday, but lack of motivation killed me.  Well I feel relaxer now and I suppose less hesitant to get my words out.  At one time, this was my favorite album of all times mainly because it was my first album that i truly adored and perhaps maybe the only album that mattered to a 15 year old.

So an album like this certainly deserves a proper tribute.  I still remembered my first impression of Michelle Branch back in 2001.  Carson Daly lightly talked about her on TRL and said she would be big.   I thought the song was okay, but she couldn't dance so what's the point?  Still, there was something about her that made me remember. Around Jan '02, I was listening to my cheap alarm clock slash radio and they were doing a new song battle and All You Wanted was playing and I didn't know who it was at the time, but i knew it reminded me of Branch and after I found out, I was just like, "wow, that was a lot better."  Yeah, it wasn't life changing.

Now, being a guy, liking pop music wasn't looked up upon.  The first mix CD i made a girl, she said it was too girly.  But I wasn't a horny teenager (hi rap) or a rebellious teen (hi punk), I was just an awkward boy that just wanted someone to care about.  So The Spirit Room was my refuges for those thoughts i wasn't ready to share with anyone yet.  And it wasn't like I got the album as a gift.  All i had were two of her songs.  Yep, this was before Youtube, DSL, and me having a personal computer.  I remember visiting her message board, lurking and downloading everything, reading everything and marking down dates on when she'll make TV appearances and then setting up my VCR to record. It was exciting to be a fan.  I added Goodbye to You to my mp3 folder once she performed it on Last Call with Carson Daly and i slowly accumulated more of her tracks until i had them all.  Thanks iMesh!

So basically my sophomore/junior year, The Spirit Room was the album that shaped me.  It's hard to have another album like it as my music process has changed.  When The Spirit Room was all I had, the songs seem to unfold with repeated listens, i got to a point where i memorized every background vocal and could isolate each melody in my head. Of course, i had other music, but Michelle was role model.

And because this is a music blog, I know i have to describe the music. It's pop!  Well sadly, at least for me, the album feels outdated with the exception of All You Wanted.  Lot of newcoming female singer/songwriters sorta killed the mood for me.  It's the reason why i needed to branch (pun) out my musical taste.  But because she's literally the first, I always point to her whenever i hear similarities.

Of course, this album is not a masterpiece.  I don't expect anyone these days to point at this album as one of the greatest.  The lyrics are pretend because she wrote most of the album when she was inexperience, i believe she was 14-16 when she wrote most of them.  But we all have a beginning and Michelle Branch was the trigger that got me into music. 

Summary: Michelle Branch is my beginning.

Favorite Songs: All You Wanted, I'd Rather Be in Love, Goodbye To You
Rating: 7.2/10

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