Melissa Ferrick - The Other Side

Melissa Ferrick
The Other Side

(Right On)

First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2005, Volume 12, #1

Written by John Metzger


Over the course of the past 15 years, Melissa Ferrick has seen the upside and downside of the music business. Signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 20, she was dropped from the label after releasing only two albums. A stint with the indie outfit What Are Records? ended just as poorly when Ferrick descended into a haze of drugs and alcohol, eventually losing everything she owned. By 2000, however, she had made significant strides towards putting her life back together, and taking control of her own career may have been the best decision that she ever made. Her seventh studio effort The Other Side is an all-Ferrick endeavor save for the guitar accompaniment on Streetlight, she wrote, performed, engineered, produced, and mixed all of the songs and the end result is a deeply personal and powerfully moving affair. True, the collection is, at times, a little uneven, and tunes like the weak-chorused Beijing, the droning dirge of Bad Bad Girl, and the rhythmic repetition of Fearless waltz their way toward mediocrity. Yet, the nimble, acoustic guitar-driven patterns of the title track; the soul-inflected folk of Nebraska; the haunted, personal evocations of I Give Up and Anything Anywhere; and the escapism of Westbound offer prime examples of why the size of her audience has grown at a phenomenal pace in recent years. Part Ani DiFranco, part Melissa Etheridge, part Indigo Girls, and part Alanis Morissette, Ferrick fills The Other Side with passionate explorations of her emotions, and taken in total, her ruminations paint a portrait that stands as a testament to her perseverance, her strength, and her will to survive. starstarstar


Of Further Interest...

Tori Amos - To Venus and Back

Out of the Cage: An Interview with Ferron

Indigo Girls - Come On Now Social


The Other Side is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright 2005 The Music Box