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The Other Side

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Album Review

"Look at me, I'm tough as nails" Melissa Ferrick sings on "Nebraska," a track from her 2004 release The Other Side on Right On Records. She says she can sing back the wind, but her strength is in her soul, unleashing it all with great determination. It's a really powerful, outstanding track on a disc where the singer plays all the instruments à la Paul McCartney's first solo album. The brittle guitar song segues over to "Streetlight" where Ferrick explores more emotions. Emitt Rhodes and Todd Rundgren should give their nod of approval; Ferrick adds an individuality on the opening track, "Beijing," with a style that is tough to muster when one person is playing all the instruments. "Every Three Words" has an inquisitive depth that, believe it or not, would be an extraordinary opportunity in the hands of a slick pop diva like Celine Dion. The lyrics are stretched across a 12-page booklet alongside various poses by the songstress. As Janis Ian's Billie's Bones and Jackie DeShannon's You Know Me are works that build upon each creators' pasts, but are a brave push forward, The Other Side features creative spurts which fly all over the map and catch the listener off guard, "Anything Anywhere" is a good example of the shift in album tempo. The CD is a beautiful statement by an individual speaking through, not just her voice, but the songs and instrumentation textured carefully and giving one the appearance of being many. The CD was produced, engineered, arranged and mixed by Ferrick at a studio in Newburyport, Massachusetts.


Born: 1970

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Melissa Ferrick emerged in 1994 as part of a group of new female alternative singer/songwriters, much in the vein of Liz Phair. Raised in Ipswich, MA, she began singing in coffeehouses after dropping out of college and eventually wound up in Boston. Her major breakthrough arrived one night when she replaced Morrissey's opening act less than an hour before showtime. Ferrick's performance impressed Morrissey, who invited her to open for him during the rest of the tour. The tour earned...
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The Other Side, Melissa Ferrick
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