Melissa Etheridge, An Overview of Her Music

Category: Music

I like Jadem6's interest in reviewing more music here on Audiogon, and in that spirit, I offer an overview of Melissa Etheridge's music. I don't think M.E. has been discussed in the Forum before. All of M.E.s CDs are on the Island label and are very well recorded.

Melissa Etheridge is an excellent singer-songwriter with seven CDs recorded to date. Her genre is pretty much Rock and Rock ballads, and she writes virtually all her own music. M.E.'s first CD was self titled and released 1988. Favorite songs are "Precious Pain", it has heartbreaking lyrics. "The Late September Dogs" is great musically, and "Bring Me Some Water" is hard driving R&R.

Her next two CDs, "Brave and Crazy", 1989, and "Never Enough", 1992 were just as good as the first. "Royal Station 4/16" is a "train song" that starts slow and builds to a screaming climax, and the title song "Brave and Crazy" is also excellent. On "Never Enough", "Ain't it Heavy", "2001", and "Keep it Precious" are great songwriting and "2001" has some neat rhythm.

In 1993, "Yes I Am" was M.E.s "coming out of the closet" as being a lesbian, CD. There is some tremendous song writing here "Silent Legacy" is a song about coming of age that we can all identify with-- and it contains a primal scream that will test your stereo system. "Talking to My Angel" is another favorite, but there are no weak tracks on this CD.

"Your Little Secret", released 1995, has 3-4 weak songs, but "Shriner's Park"-- sort of about making out as a teenager is grabbing, but the song that really makes this CD for me is "This War is Over"; it's about any soldier coming home following a war, and not necessarily alive. She does it well.

M.E.s last two CDs, "Breakdown", released 1999, and "Skin", just released 2001, show a more mature singer, and some of the energy and raw, dynamic edge of her earlier work has diminished, but she makes up for that with maturity in her lyrics and still good, but less energetic band work. On "Skin", track #9 is over-processed, but the other tracks are generally excellent.

This is just an overview of M.E.s music, and my opinion(s) of course. I recommend all of M.E.s CDs but the first two would be a good introduction. Are there others out there that appreciate M.E. music? Cheers. Craig.
Hi Craig/Garfish. Excellent overview and thoughts on Ms. E's music.

She and her music are well thought of here in Madison, Wi. Melissa has performed here a few times..and draws a very large and faithful crowd.

From reading your post....I realize I have a few holes in my knowledge of her....and her music. That will be taken care of ...

Hi Craig & Jim,

Another Melissa fan here, tho I don't listen to as much of her (or rock) as I used to. Must be getting old - seem to be more attracted to the likes of Patricia barber and Holly Cole. Nonetheless, she has gotten a lot of airplay here. The raw emotion and energy, as well as thoughtful (and painful as you say) lyrics, often seem to me a reincarnation of Joplin.
Inscrutable; Yes, she has the energy Janis Joplin had. You probably know that M. Etheridge was considered a strong candidate to play the part of J. Joplin in a movie on J. Joplin's life-- don't know what happened to that. I'm a Holly Cole fan too. Cheers. Craig.
Saw her live in Halifax once. One of the best live performances I have been too....this was before she came out. Very very potent and clean performance. Great review, Garfish....Hey, I'm a Holly Cole fan too. Cheers, bluenose