This new album is undoubtedly classic Melissa Etheridge
BY SAMANTHA GRIERSON, IMAGE BY MELISSA ETHERIDGE.
With the opening riff of One Way Out, I’m transported back to the 1995 album Your Little Secret playing on the headphones of my CD Walkman. This new album is undoubtedly classic Melissa Etheridge. The substantial guitar and seductive harmonica embrace her confident lyrics: “One good look at you, I’d say you were just this side of sane”.
One Way Out is a collection of music written by the singer/songwriter in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some before she even “came out” as a lesbian. She revisited these demos and old songs several times over the last decade or so, with the time never quite being right to harness and release them. I feel warmed by the idea of her stumbling over these classic sounding numbers and saving them up for digital release years later. Etheridge herself says: “I’m so excited to bring these songs to my fans. Years later I still am moved and can’t wait to share these tracks live.”
We slip into I’m No Angel Myself, a gear change to a more introspective voice of the now 60-year-old, reflecting on past experiences: “Well I’ve broke some hearts and I’ve played some cards that I’d just as soon forget”. I can’t help but think that this song, written decades ago, has a resonance that would make a great conversation with her over a drink. Wild Wild Wild gently reminds me of why I fell in love with Etheridge’s husky voice and direct lyrics all those years ago, tumbling again as she gently picks at her guitar. The album is rounded off with You Have No Idea and Life Goes On, which were recorded live in 2002 at the Roxy in Los Angeles. I would love to hear Etheridge’s take on that night – the atmosphere sounds alive.
This collection of new classics is sure to reignite the fires of lifelong Melissa Etheridge fans and capture the imagination of the newbies still to be initiated by the rock legend. The whole album is genuine hearty food for your long-lost rock soul. Listen from September 17 2021 or book tickets to see Melissa Etheridge at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on June 24 2022.
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