(Not Just Another) Drop in the Ocean: The Michelle Branch Rate (FIN) | Page 10 | The Popjustice Forum

(Not Just Another) Drop in the Ocean: The Michelle Branch Rate (FIN)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Seventeen Days, Apr 29, 2019.


What is your favorite Michelle Branch album?

  1. Broken Bracelet

    0 vote(s)
  2. The Spirit Room

    7 vote(s)
  3. Hotel Paper

    11 vote(s)
  4. Hopeless Romantic

    5 vote(s)
  5. West Coast Time

    0 vote(s)
  6. Stand Still, Look Pretty

    2 vote(s)
  7. Everything Comes and Goes

    1 vote(s)
  1. Sorry for the long delay between eliminations, everyone - this has been an absolutely insane month at work for me, and I usually write up my stuff when I have free time at my desk.

    We'll get two more eliminations coming up this evening. Spoiler alert - we're continuing to cull the extras, which was probably expected anyway.
    LKane, ohnostalgia, soratami and 4 others like this.
  2. I hope getaway will go further...
    Btw... can we update the first page to see the results ? please haha
  3. I'll get the results updated on page one tomorrow. We'll also finally get to our next two eliminations.
    soratami and LKane like this.
  4. Okay, these impromptu long breaks between eliminations will be over soon, I promise! I may be a little AWOL this weekend so I can finish my scores for the Mariah Carey rate, but I’ll be sure to at least toss a couple more eliminations out so we can get this moving smoothly again.

    In the meantime let’s jump right into #88. Yep, it’s another extra.

    … and I am pretty sure almost no one knew this band before the rate started.

    this post sponsored by Doritos ©

    Average: 6.07

    High Score: 9.5 (@LKane)
    Low Score: 3 (@ohnostalgia)

    My Score: 6.25

    I swear up and down that I’ve heard this band’s name before, but until I did this rate, I had literally never heard a single one of their songs. Interestingly enough, it looks like their connection to Michelle runs deeper than we expected. According to the band’s Wikipedia page, the band (a group of three siblings) had met Michelle in 2000 sometime before her signing to Maverick Records. After she was signed, she championed for the band and got them signed as well.

    The band’s one and only album, released in October of 2002, featured both today’s elimination, ‘Without You’, as well as a track that Michelle wrote on, called ‘Don’t Cry for Us’. I found the track on Youtube and it’s…. okay. Super generic sounding, so it’s not hard to see why this band didn’t go far.

    As for the track in question, ‘Without You’, well… it’s not bad, I’ll give it that. But it’s so dripping in early ‘00s teen ~rawk~ that it almost feels distracting. The big reverb-soaked guitars and the generic angsty male vocals are very by-the-numbers, and it just seems like the song never really approaches the heights that it’s trying so hard to reach. I might have liked it more if it had been only Michelle singing on it, quite frankly.

    Your Thoughts

    @saviodxl (4.4) – Basic.

    @rtotheh (5.5) - Flop Stan alert: I’d never heard this serviceable album feat. before, and as a result I'm probably overscoring Without You: an unexpected throwback to those balmy, bleached fringe, faux-rock summer days of 2002 will always go a long way in my estimations.

    If you’re over-scoring it, then my 6.25 was very generous.

    @bonnieetclyde (6) - Not a fan of the male singer's voice. Overall the track doesn't excite me much.

    @Sprockrooster (6) - Michelle sounds great on it, which can't be said about her nasal counterpart.

    @abael (6) - Well put together, bit uninspired.

    @pop3blow2 (8) - This is so painfully early 00’s, it circles around from being borderline cringe (mainly due the on-point generic male vocal for the era) to being charming in an oddly nostalgic, basic way. Similar to ‘On the Line’ in the Mandy rate. I remember buying this cd out of a used bin in the early 00’s, mainly because Michelle’s name was plastered all over the cd with stickers. (Haha…. her early 00's power.) I listened to it & was like, ‘meh’. This song is fine, though.

    She really championed for this band to go somewhere… but her powers weren’t strong enough.

    @LKane (9.5) - This song is so 90s.. and I love everything in it. I think nothing happened with the band, but her vocals are great as always. She’s such a good vocalist. This song deserved a music video.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    Inky, GimmeWork, pop3blow2 and 7 others like this.
  5. Results for #87 will be up sometime tomorrow. I'm also working on getting the results page updated, along with some extra stats, for easy tracking of what's still left.
  6. Maybe I'm so used to this song since it was released that, at the end, I really like it.
  7. I finally have a slow day at work, so let's knock an elimination out! Today, we say goodbye to our #87, and continue to cull the extras.


    Average: 6.14

    High Score: 9 x 2 (@Music Is Life, @ohnostalgia)
    Low Score: 3 x 2 (@The Hot Rock, @Shockbox)

    My Score: 7.25

    Today, we arrive at our first track in this rate that I just.... have nothing for. Literally, I scoured the Internet up and down for this one, and I can't find a single thing on this track. No origins, no information, nothing.

    Having never heard this track before, and being on a 'country Michelle' kick when I rated it, I found this one to be a pretty enjoyable little track. It definitely sounds like it was from the 'Everything Comes and Goes' era, but then again it has enough of a rock-ish vibe to also be from 'West Coast Time'. Maybe someday we'll get some more information on this one, but I guess until then we can just enjoy the music.

    Well, some of us....

    Your Thoughts
    More than one person was feeling some country styling burn-out (a "me and banjos in the Taylor rate" tea)...

    @rtotheh (4.5) - Anyone else now suffering from extreme pick-up truck fatigue as a result of this rate? Feels harsh to penalise this when I’ve tolerated much worse from the ECAG crop, but you know what? I don’t think Michelle lives anywhere NEAR a goddamn river. Enough!

    @pop3blow2 (6.5) - Maybe a bit heavy handed on the country imagery & stuff, here. Pass.

    @pop3blow2 falling in the middle on a song, I couldn't believe it.

    @LKane (6.8) - I guess this song was part of her attempt to make another country record. But it’s hard for me to like.

    And our lone positive commentary for the song, besides me.

    @abael (7) - I wish Michelle tried this tempo more often.

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  8. Ehhh.. People are so leery when it comes to the 'extras' of a rate, they often don't give them enough attention. Anyway, I hope we turn our attention away to the releases before we lose stuff that would really hurt.
    LKane likes this.
  9. After taking a weekend break, we're gonna jump into the week by moving on to #86. And this time, we’re saying goodbye to the first track from an album that we haven't yet touched.....

    .......but which album?


    Average: 6.16

    High Score: 9 x 3 (@imaduck, @Remorque, @Music Is Life)
    Low Score: 2 (@DJHazey)

    My Score: 6.5

    That’s right, it’s time to say goodbye to our first track to fall from The Wreckers’ “Stand Still, Look Pretty” tonight. Formed in early 2005 when Michelle began collaborating with her friend Jessica Harp, the band was named by Michelle’s then-husband, Teddy Landau. The original name as suggested by Teddy was actually ‘Cass County Homewreckers’, but as Michelle said in an interview, “My mom would’ve killed me, so we changed it to The Wreckers”.

    Before releasing an album, the band tested the waters by recording a track for the show One Tree Hill, ‘The Good Kind’. They went on to perform the song on the show, as well as joining on a One Tree Hill tour (featuring the wonderful vocal stylings of Gavin Degraw! *snore*) The band intended to release their album shortly afterward but… wouldn’t you know it! It got delayed. Finally, in May, 2006, the album ‘Stand Still, Look Pretty’ saw its release. Led by its smash single, ‘Leave the Pieces’ (more on that to come soon), the album managed to climb all the way to #4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, as well as reaching the top 20.

    Tonight’s elimination, ‘Crazy People’, is the closing track on the album. And honestly, I’m not super crazy (ha!) about this one. I mean, that’s not to say it’s horrible - Michelle has definitely done worse (I’m looking at you, Timbaland). But by the time that the album is just about over, this song comes roaring in to go hard in the paint with the country song clichés about home wrecking and drinking whiskey. I will say this, though - Michelle and Jessica’s cute little laugh at the end does make it seem like they’re in on the joke, like the song was meant to be very tongue-in-cheek.

    Your Thoughts

    @LKane (4.8) - Nope…. worst song on the album.

    Honestly I agree, but I did at least find it a little enjoyable once I gave it a couple of listens.

    @rtotheh (5.5) - Fun, sort of?

    @abael (6) - What is it with Michelle and sloppy endings? Still, with this being my lowest score for the album I guess I'm Country now.

    Your pink Joanne hat is in the mail.

    @pop3blow2 (8.3) - Quirky little storytelling song, that definitely feels country to me.

    @Music Is Life (9) – Works pretty well as a closer. “Only crazy people fall in love with me,” is a lyric. The laughing at the end is great too.

    The laughing is the part that made me change my score, because it’s rather endearing.

    ....and for good measure, don't forget to stan for the best country track with the word 'crazy' in the title!

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  10. The last album I would want to take a hit, but the worst track on it the victim. I'll live, if The Wreckers have better tracks to come in the (hopefully far) future.
  11. Two eliminations are coming later this afternoon. I know I've been horrible at keeping this alive, and I am sorry - it's been a rough week for me. but things are looking better!
    bonnieetclyde, LKane and pop3blow2 like this.
  12. It’s time to say goodbye to #85. And we’re back in the land of extras…

    …but it looks like this one’s walked far enough.


    Average: 6.17

    High Scores: 10 (@Music Is Life), 9 (@pop3blow2)
    Low Score: 3 (@Shockbox)

    My Score: 8.25

    Tonight’s extra hails from the more recent ‘Hopeless Romantic’ era. According to what I’ve seen online, ‘Walk Again’ was a track recorded during the ‘Romantic’ sessions, and it ended up being put on a Netflix original movie, called ‘Deidra and Laney Rob a Train’. Personally, I had never heard of this movie before I did my research on the song. But it sounds like a pretty powerful plot:
    Whew, the layers. I’ll have to add it to my Netflix queue and report back by the end of the rate.

    Anyway, back to the song. This track was a definite like for me the moment I heard it. It’s a fantastic blend of old ‘00s rock chick Michelle and ‘10s indie darling Michelle. I love the ohhhh-whooooas in the chorus, and the overall vibe of it just really gives a feel of a song that’s bigger than it lets on. It doesn’t surprise me that Netflix thought to put the song in a movie, because it really feels like it was destined for a soundtrack.

    Your Thoughts

    @rtotheh (5) - This is interesting to me as an example of where Michelle could have headed without Patrick Carney for album 3. Feels like a halfway house between the West Coast Time ‘will this woah do’ approach to songwriting and the rougher round the edges Hopeless Romantic.

    @Sprockrooster (6) - This starts off very captivating with the verse (and also second verse), but the chorus is a bit of a letdown.

    @abael (6) - A nice song with poor lyrics.

    @LKane (6.6) - The choruses are something different for her, which is always something nice to listen to.

    @pop3blow2 (9) - Ooh, this is something I don’t know at all… and sort of newish. I really like it. It has the basic ‘ohh…ohh’ chorus thing that is maybe is a bit overused in songs the last 5+ years, but whatevs. I like it.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  13. Didn't know about the movie either! Walk Again is kind of a standard song... nothing impressive I guess. It sounds more like West Coast Time to me, but who knows.
  14. Good to see you back @Seventeen Days , is all I have to say about the last elimination.
  15. Okay, these stretches between eliminations are gonna start getting short soon. Work is finally starting to slow down, and I’m ready to kick this rate into high gear and breathe some life into this thread. Let’s jump right into #84, which sees us lose our second track from an album….

    …although not the official album tracklisting.


    Average: 6.18

    High Score: 8.6 (@pop3blow2)
    Low Score: 2.5 x 2 (@saviodxl, @imaduck)

    My Score: 8

    It’s time to say goodbye to our second track from the Everything Comes and Goes era. As you might recall, originally there were many more tracks that were considered for the EP before it got pared down - one of which was ‘Texas in the Mirror’. You might be surprised to learn that, according to an interview, Michelle actually wrote this song during the making of Hotel Paper. For obvious reasons, it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the album, so she held onto it and would play it live from time to time as part of The Wreckers. The fans responded positively to it, and she then planned on making a studio version for Everything - and, though it wasn’t meant to be, she would end up releasing it as a free download on her website in 2011.

    Until starting this rate, I had never even heard this track; until this write-up, I had no idea the track originated in the Hotel Paper era. But listening to the song, I feel like you can definitely get a sense of its roots. It has that kind of soft guitar-ballad sound, but just enough country flavor to really balance it and give both fanbases something to like. Michelle turns in some gorgeous vocals as she sings about a young girl and her mother, driving away from what I can only presume is their previous lives in Texas. All in all, this track definitely was a highlight for me and should have received a proper album release.

    Your Thoughts

    @rtotheh (4.5) - Ten years since it was handed out as a belated, underwhelming mailing list freebie and I still couldn’t tell you the words.

    @bonnieetclyde (6) - Drags on a bit.

    @abael (6) - Production choices keep this from being completely forgettable.

    @LKane (8.2) - I remember watching some clips when the album was supposed to come out. And this song was playing in one of those promotional videos… It has a special vibe with a touch of nostalgia.

    @pop3blow2 (8.6) - Another ballad, better than some of the ones we got on the official EP. ugh.

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  16. I really love what "Everything comes and goes" was supposed to be as an album. And of course "Texas in the mirror" is part of it. It's a sweet ballad.
    rtotheh likes this.
  17. Agreed! It could have been such a solid album, if Maverick hadn't dicked Michelle around.

    #83 will be coming tomorrow. It's another unreleased track cull. Also, the front page has been updated with the song lists and their elimination posts, for easy reference.
    LKane likes this.
  18. Good to hear that time has been freed up to allow you to be able to pick up the rate again. You'd think a month would be enough to get over it, but Show Me a Sign being the first out for ECaG at 92 is still painful. The EP would have been perfect with it and Crazy Taxi switched out, but bad decisions seem to follow that era even into the rate. If it's an unreleased track out next, Play With Fire would be my choice.
    LKane likes this.
  19. My own bitchy one liners are starting to bore me (think I was in a particularly foul mood at the time of rating).

    Wouldn't necessarily track either down on their own merits, but Texas in the Mirror and Show Me a Sign both make perfect sense as part of the original ECAG tracklisting. Such an injustice the full thing never got the proper release it deserved.
    LKane and abael like this.
  20. If this isn't me... I try to always leave commentary if just to explain my choices, but what I see as poignant or particularly cutting at the time of writing, can often leave me hoping people skipped over reading it when published a month later.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.