Label: M.E Records
Review By: Alan Holloway
It was quite staggering, for me anyway, when I realized that it’s been twenty years since I reviewed and enjoyed Melissa Etheridge’s ‘Your Little Secret’ album. We’ve both been through some stuff since then, although Ms Etheridge has documented hers through eight albums whilst I’ve just bitched about it on facebook,
‘This Is .M.E’ (love the title) sees Etheridge break new ground by finally breaking away from Island Records and also using co writers for the first time. I really don’t know what sort of songs she’s been doing for the last 20 years but I can say that what she’s doing on this album is all sorts of right. For a start, there’s a feeling of real heart, etched through eleven songs that feel like Country music gone dirty. Each contains a solid, pounding drum base and throaty, powerful vocals, the sort of songs that have you drumming away with your hands. There are harder, angrier tracks like ‘Monster’ and ‘Ain’t That bad’, balanced by lighter but still powerful fare such as spot on opener ‘I Won’t Be Alone’ and lead single ‘Take My Number’. The only song without the booming drums is soft album close ‘Who Are You Waiting For’, an emotional love song that may bring a tear to grizzled old eyes and will certainly be played at a few weddings in the future.
Overall, ‘This Is M.E’ is a powerful, soulful album in which country meets rock but in a good way. It’s down and dirty and full of songs that demand your attention once they start, capable of making you punch the air or reach for a tissue.