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Freedom Knows My Name

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Album Review

Freedom Knows My Name followed another recording hiatus in Melanie's checkered career. By now her voice had markedly coarsened, and sounded not unlike a heartier, drug-free Stevie Nicks. The album's material ranges from the good to the so-so. The morbid humor of "Estate Sale" ("Going through dead people's houses/Wonderful things they have collected/Open the drawers, the trunks, the closets/Don't leave a corner uninspected") suits Melanie well, and the rhythmic folk title track, propelled by a great bassline, is her best shot as a writer in a while. Another highlight, "Gone with the Wind," is an entertaining career summation in song. The production (as always, courtesy of her husband) avoids the pitfalls of her '80s work, and for the first time in over a decade, Melanie's songs are allowed to come across unbutchered.


Born: 03 February 1947 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No talent who came out of Woodstock and who continued actively performing more than a quarter century later remained as closely associated with the 1960s and "flower power" than Melanie. Born Melanie Safka in Astoria, Queens, in 1947, she made her first public appearance at age four on a radio show, later studying at the New York Academy of Fine Arts. After mounting a singing career while in college, she later sang in clubs in Greenwich Village, and was signed to a publishing contract in 1967. She...
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