US - California - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 26 - 12/03/98
Everything I Need
What Are Records
I first heard of Melissa Ferrick in a review comparing her to Ani
DiFranco. Not lyrically, as might be expected with someone as
powerfully prosodic as Ani, but rather musically - they both play an
aggressive acoustic guitar. An avid Ani fan, I decided to give Ferrick
a try and picked up her debut album, Massive Blur. An amazingly
diverse collection, well produced and major labeled, I eagerly picked
up her next album, the prophetically titled Willing To Wait, only to
discover that her label had dropped her and her future was uncertain.
Suddenly on her own, she continued to perform at clubs and festivals,
producing a now out-of-print EP only available at performances and a
live album on an independent label, both releases featuring just her
and her guitar. This doubtful period, as revealed through these
collections, allowed for her song writing to develop and her stage
confidence to grow. Now three years after her last studio album, she
has returned with both a label and a band.
This is great news, for Ferrick's most striking songs have always been
the band songs, wonderfully arranged and structured, such as Massive
Blur's opening Honest Eyes and dynamic Blue Sky Night, Willing To
Wait's Falling On Fists, and now this album's I Will Arrive,
Particular Place To Be, and Asking For Love. While not as
precisely produced as her Atlantic albums, this album is a more
organic creature, allowing more creativity and rough edges to peer
around the edges, letting the listener know there is a real person
singing, and living, these songs.
With Ferrick, every release brings with it anticipation for the next,
for she continues to grow and show promise for greater work, and while
some unforeseen obstacles have been thrown in her path, they seem to
have only strengthened her convictions. And with both an appearance at
this year's Lilith Fair and this third studio album, maybe the path is
beginning to clear a little.
Here's hoping this label keeps her around a while.
Copyright © 1998 J. A. Gilbert