Melissa Etheridge is celebrating the release of her12th studio album in her 25 year career. I remember falling in love with Bring Me Some Water from her eponymous debut album, and that was enough to hook me for the first few albums, after that she kind of fell off my radar – not for any particular reason that I can recall but I was a bit single-minded in my musical tastes as a teen.
Both circumstances which conspired to excite me when this album appeared in my pile this week. I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in this album, and immerse myself I have. 4th Street Feeling has been on repeat for the past 3 days and I think I’m now on listen 15 or 16 – dangerously close to permanently imprinted on my brain with lyrics ready to leak out at any given moment, which could be quite dangerous as even my Miss 8 tells me not to sing because I’m not very good.
It was her deep, smoky, hazy vocals that belted Melissa Etheridge into the hearts and homes of her millions of fans globally, and that voice has not changed through the decades of her career, except to get more controlled, more restrained, which gives her lyrics more power.
I have always thought of Melissa Etheridge as a complete rock chick, whether that is a valid opinion or not that’s how I saw her, and this album has definite elements of rock but that is not the only genre that can be attributed to this album. There is a depth and soul present that is extremely bluesy and quite a heavy touch of country at times.
4th Street Feeling is very much a look at Etheridge’s life beginning with a road trip to Kansas City in her ‘old man’s Delta ’88’. This album is Etheridge going back to her hometown and taking us along for the ride.
A little bit of everything is contained right here on this album; there is light and dark, depressed and encouraging, heartbreak and falling in love – and possibly in lust. The album takes us back into the past but it also looks to the future.
Melissa Etheridge wrote all the tracks on the album and looking back on some of the very public events in her life over the past few years you can really look at it as autobiographical songwriting. The lyrics are extremely catchy, and often touching. I really am in love with this album and I’m sure it will be on high rotation – after a short break.
Not only is the song writing all Etheridge, she also Co-produced every track and played all the guitar parts. This album is Melissa Etheridge, heart and soul.
4th Street Feeling
The Shadow Of A Black Crow
A Sacred Heart
I Can Wait
Rock And Roll Me