Thursday, 1 November 2007

Melissa Etheridge

Victoria Gacek writes about Melissa Etheridge.

Melissa Etheridge-The Awakening

As far as ageing rock stars go, Melissa Etheridge isn’t doing too badly for herself. Etheridge, a cancer survivor, recently having exchanged vows with Tammy Lynn Michaels must have suddenly decided at the age of 46 to release yet another album. The two Grammies sitting on her mantle piece must be getting a little lonely by now.

Etheridge’s new album, The Awakening (released 25th September), is her ninth studio release and I would say the worst. The whole album is a series of melancholy tracks, which merge into one, leaving the listener lethargic. The passion and fiery edge, of Etheridge’s previous songs has been extinguished; as the only kind of emotion the album awakens in me is boredom. It leaves me wondering if Etheridge abruptly decided to delve into the world of Cliff Richard, releasing an album because she has a supreme status and an army of diehard fans that will gobble the album up and give it praise, despite the fact it is a complete let down.

Etheridge performed in the summer at the United States leg of the Live Earth concert with ‘Imagine That’ and ‘What Happens Tomorrow’, two badly performed tracks from the album. It seems as though it is now fashionable for every solo artist or band to raise awareness about the environment at the expense of a really good set of tracks.

The fact is we are all aware of the global crisis by now; Live Earth did not need to show us what we already knew. Plus, as a result of the festival, yet another part of the polar ice caps will probably have melted. Songs are not going to give listeners an epiphany, to change their lifestyle over night, into a more eco-friendly manner.

The only song worth buying The Awakening for is the catchy pop/rock song ‘Message To Myself’. A semi-auto-biographical song, which highlights Etheridge’s struggle with cancer and the love she now has in her life. But, as the tracks cycle through, wasting electricity, and adding to the already damaged environment, I am left wondering, why the woman who started her career the year I was born (1988) didn’t just hang up her guitar and call it a day.

So as a warning to all the Bono imitating songwriters, please find the time to recycle your climate change song lyrics and write something new; maybe with a little feeling next time.


Kat said...

I would hazard to guess that the fact that you were born in 1988 might have something to do with the fact that you completely missed the important messages in this CD. Perhaps you might want to do a little googling of the other 150 professional reviews by people who actually know something about music such as Rolling Stone only to see that there is hardly one review out there saying anything but that this album is spectacular and intelligent.

Do me a favor, save your naive and uneducated review and re-read it when you are 40 and have some life experience...only then can you even hope to understand the beauty and introspective songwriting of this amazing artist on this album.

Until then...go enjoy your Britney Spears album.

puthwuth said...

Ahoy there Victoria, you have outraged a Canadian Melissa Etheridge fan, it seems! I hope you're not too thrown by the experience. I haven't noticed your passion for Britney Spears, I confess, but I presume that's something you do your best to cover up.