Melissa Etheridge


The queen of angst-ridden rock power ballads is back with an album that’s exactly what you’d expect: a lot of sentimental, autobiographical songs with guitar hooks. It’s listenable, preferably on a sunny day’s drive with your arm hanging out the window, but there’s very little of long-term interest here. Not nearly as big a downer as 1999’s Breakdown, it’s still missing the power of songs like “Bring Me Some Water,” “2001” and “I’m the Only One.” The only truly remarkable song is “Secret Agent,” with its lighthearted, in-your-face heroine. “Tuesday Morning,” about the gay man who was among the passengers of Flight 93 who fought the hijackers—a worthy subject—descends into mere emotionalism. Etheridge could benefit from less angst and more anger, and maybe a crack at Bruce Springsteen’s reading list.