jan 15 2019
An artist’s third album often carries the weariness of having already said everything. Yet Michelle’s third work shines, a testament to her great skill at perception. As she’s grown as a songwriter so too has her ability to elevate a detail from anecdote to allegory. The result is an intense collection of ten tracks, a transformative journey from regret to compassion, coming to rest upon the sort of sweetness available only to those who truly care. If only we could all love so deeply, feel such warmth, deliver such grace in woe.
As she mourns loss, celebrates love, and confronts guilt, Michelle weaves an emotional journey, conveyed in vivid ashes of sorrow and garnished with comic turns of forbearance. Yet rather than feeling haphazard, the album gathers upon all the consequences of holding people close. Michelle has spun all the relationships that matter and the effect is a good cry followed by a good laugh.
Michelle wrote this album with her ears open. “Scars” explores a life story she learned about her grandmother only after her death. “Please Don’t Go” includes words of comfort overheard during another period of pain. “Sometimes the songs are already written, you just have to listen,” she said.
Interestingly, the album features a cover of “Dancing In The Dark,” a first for Michelle who to-date had recorded only original compositions. “Years ago a friend gave me a copy of Nebraska. When I heard that album I realized that although Bruce Springsteen had been in front of a rock band for years, he’s really a folk singer,” she said. “His songs are so relatable and heart wrenching.”
The album’s first single, “Push On,” was co-written by Nashville singer/songwriter Robby Hecht. The song shares a timely message of determination, delivered in Michelle’s plaintive vocal style, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. “There are times in everyone’s life when we feel like we can’t go on, whether it’s physically, mentally, or both. ‘Push On’ is about overcoming those everyday and long-term struggles we all have,” said Michelle. “It’s about being lost, physically broken down, but then fighting through it.”
The album ends on a affectionate note, with “Lay On My Pillow,” a velvet blanket of comfort sung softly and sweetly. It’s a comforting final thought, a return safely home. She sings, “Give me your life / I’ll give you mine / Stay with me darling we’ll be fine.”