First and foremost, let’s get the obvious comparisons out of the way – she’s female, dark hair, American, attractive and a singer of rock music – after that you can forget any similarities between Meridith Brooks and Alanis Morrisette.

On the evidence of this album it appears that Miss Brooks has more talent and appeal than her (as yet) more successful adversary. Her vocals and lyrics have a greater diversity in range and subject matter respectively, while the songs are more thoughtfully crafted and meaningful. But let’s not get drawn any further into a point by point contrast debate, and instead focus on the good (and bad) points of this album.

Featuring the rather obvious hit single ‘Bitch’ (which was a great song nonetheless) it is backed up by 11 other offerings which are on the whole, strong and varied in their presentation and execution. Revolving around rock orientated tracks such as the scratch guitar of ‘I Need You’ and the Bangles style ‘Birthday’, the album sweeps along with ease, yet still manages to throw up the mellow side to her music as is illustrated by the exquisite ‘Watched You Fall’ and the tender ‘What Would Happen’ which show a contrasting compassion to her upfront-in’yerface ‘Bitch’ hit, as well as traces of funk, folk and pop which are given their own individual spaces on the album. As well as her rather wonderful vocals, Meridith manages to play guitar and co-write most of the albums tracks showing she’s not just a pretty face.

The opus are well produced and coherent in their presentation, although there are a few downsides to the album (‘Shatter’ being the most disappointing track), with some weak spots lyrically and musically, but on the whole it is an enjoyable rock album without being a classic, giving auspicious signs that Meridith may have a shitload of other compositions worthy of future release if the likes of ‘Somedays’ and the superb closing number ‘Wash My Hands’ are anything to go by.

Taken from Scotland Calling (Scottish Music Network)

Leave a Reply