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The Spirit Room

Michelle Branch

The Spirit Room

Reviews

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.

Type: Album

Sampling: 44,1 kHz

Source: CD

Tracks: 11

Language: English

Total size: 97.25 Mb

Year: 2001

Total price: $1.32

Genres:


#
Title
Price
Bitrate
Duration
Size
1
$0.12
320
03:36
8.24 Mb
2
$0.12
320
03:54
8.93 Mb
3
$0.12
320
03:38
8.31 Mb
4
$0.12
320
03:11
7.31 Mb
5
$0.12
320
04:15
9.75 Mb
6
$0.12
320
03:25
7.84 Mb
7
$0.12
320
03:43
8.53 Mb
8
$0.12
320
04:19
9.9 Mb
9
$0.12
320
03:55
8.99 Mb
10
$0.12
320
04:11
9.6 Mb
11
$0.12
320
04:18
9.85 Mb


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For a pop album, this was a real winner. Most pop artists write "albums" which are maybe one or two hit songs of which you get sick after a month, and the rest of the "album" is filler material. This album has three, technically four great songs on it and I'm still enjoying them today, 14-15 years after its release. Here's a bit on my favorite/most recommended tracks (in order of appearance.)

"Everywhere" - Though probably the most generic-hit-song material on this album, the song still has staying power. Especially when you hear it in high-quality audio, the acoustic guitar has really been done well. Lyrically it's not very remarkable. It's a love song, and that's-that. But the melody's enough to make me smile.

"All You Wanted" - If I have any criticism to offer for this song, it's that the melody (especially in the intro) isn't really good for Branch's voice. When the mix isn't very full, it brings out kind of a whine in her voice and feels forced or arbitrary. Otherwise, pretteh song is pretteh. Between the acoustic guitar and the electric, some real attention to detail was given in the writing process. I appreciate the electric riff that winds-down in the notes and brings us tumbling into the chorus. The guitar solo could've been more impressive, but I guess since this is an artist-act and not a true band, we can't really expect much that will distract us from the vocals.

"You Set Me Free" - I believe this one got very little radio play, which is unfortunate for those who relied on the radio to hear Branch's music. It was recorded, mixed, mastered, etc. very well. I love the guitar harmonics, and the pristine acoustic guitar in the intro and verse. The bass is also very full without being abrasive or drowning-out the acoustic guitar. The harmonies in the chorus are one of the things that really put this song over the top and into the "classics" section of my pop collection. The record-scratching that leads into the final chorus feels a bit uncharacteristic, but I can get over that quickly.

"Goodbye to You" - This song gets both my highest praise and my most sincere derision when it comes to this album. Now the reason for this is that there are several versions, the album version being definitely *not* the best. The "doo-doo-doo-doo" in the intro is kind of annoying, and while the gentler nature of this version allows the listener to soften a little and open up to the real beauty of the melody, it doesn't feel as powerful as the radio version (my favorite and the only one I'd have for my collection) where the chorus is sung much more powerfully and it more fun to listen to. She's almost belting in the radio version and you can tell how much she means what she's written. Also, the album version really skimps on the acoustic guitar, which sounds gorgeous and is much more "front and center" in the radio version. Michelle Branch's acoustic guitar work, as well as the way its sound is represented is one of the things that makes her so awesome to me. Also, the last chord in the radio version is an E-minor, which sounds better to my ears than the chord on which she ends in the album version. However, giving credit where it's due, the progression has much more complete resolution in the album version's final chord, which is fitting for a song about giving oneself closure. The radio version's electric guitar is also much more participatory and complements the song's spirit much better, IMO.

The other songs on this album are slightly more listenable than "filler" songs, but I personally wouldn't hang onto them for dear life like I do the songs above. Overall this gets four stars. Once again, much more quality here than, say, the average Britney Spears album, probably because Branch writes for herself. And that's just about it. If you've never heard the radio version of "Goodbye to You," I'd highly recommend looking up the official music video for the song, whose audio is that version.

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