Melissa Etheridge - Fearless Love CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Melissa Etheridge - Fearless Love CD Review

Melissa Etheridge - Fearless Love CDMelissa Etheridge made a welcome return to her rock roots with her 11th disc Fearless Love.

Producer/guitarist John Shanks has given Melissa Etheridge a BIG sound with a disc full of anthemic melodies, crashing drums and soaring guitar riffs. To make Fearless Love, Etheridge invited old friend John Shanks to produce and play guitar. “I like to tell people I discovered John Shanks,” she teases. “He toured as my guitar player on my very first tour and he worked with me from 1993 to 1999.”

Lyrically, this is Melissa's breakup album as she split with long-time partner Tammy Lynn Michaels shortly before this disc was released. In a recent interview, Melissa described the meaning of the album title as being "about being fearless. It's about choosing love over fear. It's a way, a philosophy of living life that suits me well."

Lyrical themes predominately focus on different aspects of relationships - love, loss and redemption:
- "Fearless Love" - "I want a fearless love, I won't settle for anything less / If you can’t hold me now, you’ll never hold me again”
- "Company" - "And all I want is company / Someone to understand this misery / Send a reflection of myself to me"

Melissa keeps the tempos moving from fist-pumping arena rock (with heavy shades of Bruce Springsteen) to Tom Petty-flavored roots rock. There is even a blues-rock (Great White/LA Guns style) guitar-driven hard rock song - "Nervous". Things get a bit more mixed up toward the end of the disc on tracks like "We Are The Ones", which has a middle-eastern feel, syncopated percussion and backing vocals by Natasha Bedingfeld & Joss Stone. The last three songs on the disc unfortunately are a stylistic break and are slow (somewhat unmemorable) introspective ballads.

Melissa is currently out on tour and she is playing a couple NYC-area shows in July:

July 14, 2010 - The United Palace Theatre, NYC
July 16, 2010 - State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ

Melissa Etheridge