Melissa Etheridge: Fearless Love


RIYL: Sheryl Crow, Lone Justice, Rod Stewart

With her early albums, Melissa Etheridge helped erase the last bit of novelty from the sight of a girl with a guitar. She wasn’t the first female rock star – not by a long shot – but unlike a lot of her forebears, she didn’t really have an image: She wasn’t cute like the Bangles, or vaguely threatening like Joan Jett, or a hippie intellectual like Joni Mitchell. She was just a musician who happened to be a woman, and one with a knack for combining easily identifiable messages with big, broad, radio-ready melodies. Remember “Come to My Window”? Of course you do.

Melissa_Etheridge_01

Seventeen years later, Etheridge isn’t quite the radio mainstay she once was, but she’s still doing exactly what she’s always done – to a fault, in fact. The last decade has seen her release a pair of live albums, a Christmas album, and a greatest hits collection, in addition to four albums of new material – and Fearless Love, her latest, suggests it might be time for a vacation. It’s certainly a step back from 2007’s The Awakening, which found her using those reach-for-the-sky choruses in service of a spiritual, autobiographical song cycle; in contrast, Fearless Love comes loaded for bear with a dozen tracks of platitudes as corny as its title.

Still, there’s something heartwarming about a performer this unflinchingly sincere, especially in the midst of such a cynical, irony-drenched era for music. Even when Etheridge is singing hoary lines like “Long nights in the small room with the big dreams / Oh, Indiana,” there’s never any doubt that she really means what she’s saying. Maybe next time, she’ll come up with a message worthy of that conviction. (Island 2010)

Melissa Etheridge MySpace page

  

Related Posts

  • No Related Post

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>