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coverpic flag US - California - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 26 - 12/03/98

Melissa Ferrick
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 e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Melissa Ferrick articles/reviews: Melissa Ferrick +1, Goodbye Youth.

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