Melissa Ferrick,
The Other Side
(Right On, 2004)

Over the past 10 years we have seen a trend of female singer-songwriters who create very personal, passionate songs. Instead of the typical love songs, these often deal with the frustrations and turmoil of relationships.

One artist who easily falls into this category is Melissa Ferrick. Based in Boston, she has been part of its exciting music scene since the late 1990s.

On her CD, The Other Side, Melissa continues to give us more of her very personal, introspective music. Her style could be compared to Ani DiFranco, Joan Armatrading and, on the pop side, Melissa Etheridge.

The CD opens with "Beijing," which has a Dave Matthews kind of sound and conjures up the childhood image of digging a hole to China. "Streetlight" is an insightful relationship song about the moment when you realize that things aren't working anymore. "I Give Up" is about looking at death and making sure that relationships are based on truth. "Bad, Bad Girl," one of the more up-tempo songs, is described by Melissa as a response to people who ask why her lyrics are so personal. "Fearless" has an Ani DiFranco sound and describes the frustration of being on the road.

On a happier note, "Anything, Anywhere" is a positive love song that doesn't have a sad or angry ending. The CD's title track looks at struggling as a musician, and having to play in undesirable places and hoping that things will get better.

On The Other Side, Melissa played all the instruments, as well as produced, recorded and engineered the project. The result is a good collection of songs, a powerful, passionate voice and some very good guitar playing. If you like the very personal singer-songwriter types, Melissa Ferrick is a good choice.

- Rambles
written by Dave Townsend
published 2 July 2005

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