Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Seventeen Days, Apr 29, 2019.
I swear I gave some good scores to at least a couple country songs.
It’s time to start kicking this rate into high gear, as promised. Starting today, I’m going to be doing three eliminations a day, so I can pare this thing down and get us closer to our #1 Michelle Branch song. I am going on a mini trip to see my dad this weekend, so I might roll down to 1-2 those days, but I will be making sure I stick with my strict schedule the rest of the time.
With that being said, let’s kick off today with #83. In this elimination, ‘West Coast Time’ takes another hit….
…looks like it’s time to pack the dancing shoes away.
High Score: 9.75 (@Music Is Life)
Low Score: 0 (@rtotheh)
My Score: 8
We already know the story of this album, so I’ll spare you the details. But needless to say, this track really caught my attention when I first listened to it. Apparently there’s a couple different versions of this floating around the interwebs, but the specific version I found (linked below) seems to have some definite electro flavoring to it that’s especially enjoyable. It’s definitely a bop to me, and wouldn’t have been out of place with what was on the radio in 2011.
@rtotheh (0) - When did you ever feel like dancing, Michelle? On a lot of WCT she’s been A&R’d out of all recognition and this is the worst culprit for being completely anonymous and 100% disposable.
Boy, you really were in a bad mood when you rated some of this, weren’t you?
@abael (5) - A promising beginning but it doesn’t go anywhere. The ending is especially bad.
@The Hot Rock (6) – Serving Disney or Nickelodeon teen pop bops. What will she do next?
@LKane (8.8) - Funky hippie song to have some fun to!
It does kind of have a funky feel to it. Almost feels like she was going for a Bohemian vibe this album, judging by the cover.
@pop3blow2 (9.4) - Sorta Sheryl-Crow-y. I like it. Another missed single. Good gawd this is rate is great, but also a tad depressing.
Well then, right onto #82. This time, we’re returning to an album that hasn’t been touched on too much yet. This is also not only our first tie (of many) in the rate, but we are bidding farewell to our first 11...
High Score: 11 (@imaduck), 9 (@abael)
Low Score: 2.5 x 2 (@saviodxl, @DJHazey)
My Score: 6
When The Wreckers' album was announced, I had some mixed feelings on it, mostly because I saw Michelle’s shift to country as a sign that pop music was doomed to be a wasteland in 2005. (how wrong I was… sorry Ashlee Simpson and Kellegend Clarkson!). Once I finally heard the album, I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually quite good. Unfortunately for The Wreckers, this was right when I was getting into my "80s synth-pop and new wave" phase, and this album was quickly cast aside. I've since settled my feelings and do think it's a really great album, though it's probably the one in Michelle's catalog that I return to the least.
Today's song, ‘One More Girl’, is a track written and originally recorded by alt-country mainstay Patty Griffin (which means, yes, it's time for another Michelle Branch Cover.) I admittedly don’t follow her too closely, but I definitely respect her for being a fantastic singer. She also writes a hell of a song; if you don’t already know it, you should look up the Dixie Chicks track ‘Top of the World’. It’s a powerful track, with a hauntingly beautiful video.
Anyway! Back to the subject at hand. While this track is definitely beautiful, the reason that I gave it a 6 is that The Wreckers’ version sounds like an almost cut-and-copy cover version. The music production is identical, and even the vocals sound practically identical to Patty’s original recording. I would have liked to see them maybe dare to do a different key, or something different with the production. Anything to at least differentiate their version and make it stand out.
@LKane (6.6) - I can skip this one. It’s a bit boring to be honest.
@rtotheh (6.5) - Feels harsh to mark this down for being inferior to the original when it was the Wreckers who inspired me to check it out in the first place, but so sue me. Definitely holds its own on the album.
Pretty much took the words out of my mouth. I had never heard Patty's version before now, but I like hers more.
@pop3blow2 (7) - I like the ideas & themes in this song, more than the actual song. It just never comes together for me in this one.
@Music Is Life (8.5) – This was good too. I really like the lyrics.
@abael (9) - Now THAT is some melancholic guitar work.
@imaduck (11) - Patty Griffin is an incredible woman and everything she touches turns to gold, so emotive, her writing is just an incredible platform for anyone who gets the chance to sing her songs. "One more car out on the road there/You might pass on your way home/Someone's sister, someone's wife or Just some bitch who's probably got no life" just incredible.
The couple of tracks of Patty's that I checked out definitely have a good sound to them. I'll have to do some more digging into her work.
anyone who gave this song less than a 6 seriously didn't listen to the song.
Just to wrap up today's eliminations, here comes part two of our first tie at #82. And quite frankly, this elimination tickles me.
… because it was my lowest score in the rate.
High Score: 9 (@LKane)
Low Score: 0 (@rtotheh)
My Score: 3
I’m not even gonna lie here; the first time I compiled the tracklisting for the rate, I purposely left this song off. It was only after someone requested it during the voting period that I added it back in, and realized that I shouldn’t let my bias dictate the vote list.
Sorry to all of you that love this one... but man, what a dumpster fire this track is. Timbaland recycles the same tired old drum machine presets that he uses on every other song he produces, and Michelle honestly sounds like she’d rather be licking dirt off a sidewalk than having to sing on this. The funny thing is, had this come out at the height of Timbaland mania in 2006, I probably would have loved it and championed it. Too little, too late. stream Jojo on Spotify
@rtotheh (0) - What an embarrassment.
@Sprockrooster (5) - Did they seriously copy the same scenery from Timbaland's “Apologize” music video?
@Shockbox (6) - You just know that Michelle hated absolutely every minute of this.
Yeah, that makes two of us.
@The Hot Rock (7) – This combination sounded disastrous on paper but this was pretty good.
@abael (7) - Would be better if it wasn’t so busy.
That's the joy of a Timbaland production, I suppose.
@pop3blow2 (8) - So I really like Timbaland & really like Michelle. This song is messy to me, though. The seeds are there for something great, but it’s a bit of a miss for me.
@saviodxl (8.1) - I can't believe Timbaland brought her to the happy fun pop side for this comeback attempt. But I´m glad he did.
@LKane (9) - This track was interesting because after having Timbaland do great hits with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, it was such an intriguing thing to listen to what he could do with Michelle. The music video and the song are actually cute.
Wait, what!? haha I do love Getaway. It's a weird combination but I don't think Michelle hated every minute of working with Timbaland. I like the fact of having 3 songs per day!
One More Girl was in my personal top 10, shocking to see it go now. I understand country Michelle isn't for everyone, but why start there?
Who’s ready to kick off tonight's round? Well, even if you’re not, we’re gonna jump right in. And believe it or not, all three eliminations tonight are covers. One is a cover I love, the other two… well, we'll burn those bridges when we get there. In the meantime, let's dive right into #80.
High Score: 9 x 4 (@Sprockrooster, @pop3blow2, @imaduck, @Music Is Life)
Low Score: 3 x 3 (@Shockbox, @The Hot Rock, @abael)
My Score: 6
Yep, it’s another track from ‘West Coast Time’ - seems like that album is really taking a beating lately, but I suppose that’s to be expected with an album that most voters were hearing for the first time.
For those of you unaware, ‘Play with Fire’ is a song originally by the Rolling Stones, released as a single in 1963. Michelle’s take on the song strips down some of the more baroque elements (namely, removing the harpsichord) and brings it down to a bare-bones acoustic blues number. Here’s the thing… I’m just not into the Rolling Stones and their brand of rock music. I recognize that they’re considered a legendary band, but their bluesy rock sound has just never been my wheelhouse. I might have let that taint my listen to this just a little; but after a couple of listens, it does get somewhat enjoyable. Michelle does a good job with the vocals, and the guitar work definitely carries the bluesy vibe all the way through. I wouldn't rush to add this to my library, but it's an alright cover for what it is.
@abael (3) - The minimal approach didn’t work here.
@rtotheh (4.5) - Unlike some of Michelle’s covers at least this one’s... tolerable, right? She sounds great.
It could be worse - remember 'Creep' all the way back at the end?
@saviodxl (6.1) - This is so... adult, isn't it?
@LKane (7.6) - As a huge fan of rock music, Michelle had to cover the Rolling Stones. I appreciate it, cause is a good attempt for me to get into their music.
She does love to reference back to her rock roots. Gotta love an artist who shows respect to the music that influenced them.
@Sprockrooster (9) - A cover of the Rolling Stones? That has me instantly triggered, however I have to say she is doing a tremendous job, which is also carried by the production.
@pop3blow2 (9) - Another Michelle shooting for the moon cover. Joni, Bowie, The Stones. This woman, whew!
@imaduck (9) - This is really just gorgeous isn't it? Needs some production $$ thrown its way. I love a twee RS cover.
Heading into #79, we have Michelle’s earliest cover in the rate. This one happens to be my favorite song on ‘Broken Bracelet’, so I’m a little disappointed at its low showing…
…but not altogether surprised.
High Score: 10 (@Sprockrooster)
Low Score: 3 (@imaduck)
My Score: 9
We’re now 2/3 of the way done with the album ‘Broken Bracelet’ - at least, the portion of the album that didn’t get later re-recorded. The first time I heard this track, I had no idea it was a cover; it was only while surfing a Michelle Branch fansite (that’s probably long gone) that I found this out. The original is by Rickie Lee Jones, a singer best known for her 1979 hit ‘Chuck E’s in Love’. (Go check that one out if you haven’t heard it; it’s a fun jazzy track, and sounds surprisingly older than its 1979 date stamp.)
Needless to say, I have been in love with Michelle’s version of this song since the first time I heard it. Although I did not give it a 10, I did so for minor reasons; specifically, Michelle’s voice gets a bit pitchy in spots, and although the lo-fi feel of the track gives it a bit more intimacy, it definitely could have soared to new heights with a more professional finish. Regardless, Michelle delivers a lovely emotion-filled vocal, and this track remains one of my top tracks in her discography.
@LKane (4) - Kind of boring. You can tell Michelle’s voice isn’t directed as well as she did later by John Shanks.
@rtotheh (4.5) - This one sounds furthest from The Spirit Room in terms of lyrics and structure. Feels properly your-sister’s-band-scraped-together-enough-dolla-for-3-hours-in-a-studio.
@bonnieetclyde (5) - Bit of a snore.
…and now, over to the people who actually feel emotions.
@abael (7) - A pretty good song where Michelle's vocals are more pronounced.
@Remorque (7) - I initially gave this a lower score, but it grew on me with repeated listens. Starts off rather unremarkable, but then picks up. She sounds lovely too!
@pop3blow2 (8.2) - Pretty. (Sometimes I'm to the point.)
A rarity! What next, a @Music Is Life score below 7? The mind boggles!
@Music Is Life (8.75) – This is cute. I like the production, and her voice sounds good, although really young here. And the harmonizing was unexpected but welcomed.
I believe there was a full 2 years between the recording of this and ‘The Spirit Room’, which could explain the voice maturity on the latter.
@Sprockrooster (10) - Not the rain starting to pour down from the sky when I am finalising this score. It was a sign it deserved double digits.
and a bonus treat: Michelle doing the track on 'Last Call with Carson Daly' in 2002.
High Score: 9.8 (@LKane)
Low Score: 3 (@saviodxl)
My Score: 6
The strikes keep on coming for the Extras section. 'A Horse with No Name' is, of course, a track originally sung by the band America. Michelle covered the track with her husband, Patrick Carney (of the Black Keys), for the television series 'Bojack Horseman' har har har.
Michelle stays pretty true to the original style of the song here, going for the dark acoustic sound but adding a bit more 'Hopeless Romantic'-era indie flavor to it. It wouldn't sound out of place on the original album, or as a bonus track in a deluxe edition. Alas, it's not one of my top favorites - mostly because, in some spots, it actually sounds like she's... a little bored, I guess? Kinda like she's just not feeling it and covered the song out of obligation. Regardless, it pays homage to the original, and that's worth at least an above-average score.
@Sprockrooster (4) - Honestly, Michael Jackson did a better job at covering it. Also, the original is quite lovely so this makes this version quite useless.
Wait, MJ did a cover of this? I'm... intrigued.
(Edit: I found the cover, and it's more of a interpolation than a straight-up cover. I'm not gonna throw him any streams for reasons, but feel free to look it up if you wish.)
@rtotheh (5) - Might be my Wreckers/Hopeless Romantic/Bojack Horseman bias talking, but this is 100% her strongest cover, right?
@abael (7) - A great song that Michelle covers typically.
@pop3blow2 (7.3) - Michelle’s weakest cover in the rate. Just sort of there.
The fact that you scored it higher than @rtotheh is amusing, given their commentary above.
@DJHazey (9) - I actually know the original of this song very well from a place you'd never guess (ddd) if you know me well around this forum...a Grand Theft Auto game! Yes, it was in San Andreas and I have many memories attached to it from that. Once again #GamerGeek! Hearing Michelle singing it is such a treat.
I actually discovered quite a few 80s tracks through that game. Nothing like music and wreckless driving to unite the people!
@LKane (9.8) - I liked this song when I first listened to the Paul Banks version, and then having a new version with Michelle became an instant like. I’m glad she met Patrick Carney - I think he finally impulsed her to do her thing and find her own sound.
Tomorrow I have a concert in the evening (Drab Majesty, a very awesome goth/synth band my boyfriend likes), so I am going to try and get the eliminations done early on. I have a big workload, so we might be cutting down to 2 eliminations just to be safe. Stay tuned!
How did we lose Stewarts Coat so early. Anf how am I the only 10?! Messs
So glad we're finally rid of Getaway. Urgh. Its sole purpose was to flog Minis, right? I remember some goddawful promo video they put out where MB proffers a through-gritted-teeth creative rationalisation re: roadtrips, while Timbaland banged on about "the sweet combination of my beats and" *checks notes* "Michelle".
Also stand by my grouchy savaging of Don't Feel Like Dancing. Bring on the good stuff!
Play With Fire ... Hilary >
Stewart's Coats, good, now we can leave Broken Bracelet alone.
It's a shame that Horse With No Name had to exit already.
Holy crap. TI'm pretty sure this really hasn't happened yet.
I was legit about to say if she had to do a cover of a song with that title, I'd much prefer Hilary.
Screw all of you for kicking out Don't Feel Like Dancing.
I still think that her version of "A horse with no name" is exquisite
Good evening, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. I got to go back to my hometown and see my dad, as well as a bunch more of my family that I haven’t seen in almost three years. It was a most relaxing weekend, but I am ready to get back to business and pick up where we left off. Tonight, we’re gonna do just two eliminations to get us to our top 75….
... and coming in at #77, we inch closer to losing our first entire album.
High Score: 10 x 2 (@Music Is Life, @ohnostalgia)
Low Score: 3 x 3 (@Shockbox, @saviodxl, @imaduck)
My Score: 7
With this elimination, we now have one iron left in the fire for ‘Broken Bracelet’. I knew it wouldn’t get very far, but I was hoping it would last for a while longer overall. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how far ‘Washing Machine’ limps towards the finish line…
Anyway! ‘Paper Pieces’ was the second track that I ever heard from ‘Bracelet’, and I took a shine to it right away. I like how this song feels just slightly more polished than some of the other tracks on the album, but still retains that lo-fi “threw this together in my neighbor’s studio in one afternoon” kind of charm (even if the distortion and fuzz maybe could have been toned down a bit). Though other tracks on the album would reclaim the title as my favorites, I still find this one quite enjoyable after all this time.
@The Hot Rock (4) – There's potential but the production really hurts this one.
It is just a little too "discovered the distortion pedal 5 minutes ago" in some spots, isn't it?
@rtotheh (4) - Too scrappy to be truly enjoyable, but who am I to judge? I didn’t self-release an album when I was a teenager. But if I had, this wouldn’t be on it.
@abael (6) - A good song but the chorus is a bit weak.
@Remorque (6.5) - While the verses on this song are okay, I just can't get over the mess that is the production and the vocals during that chorus. It sounds amateuristic and grunge-y, but I'll listen the Nevermind album if I want to hear that kind of thing, 'kay?
Michelle, the lost grunge album.
@LKane (6.8) - This one is very catchy, I could listen to this perfectly in a 90s tv series like Sabrina or something.
@bonnieetclyde (7) - Interesting instrumentation and production on this. It works but the best thing is her 'fragile' vocals in the verses. This sounds like an early 90's girl-band-playing-guitars type track.
@pop3blow2 (9.1) - Fuzzy late 90’s alt rock done right. Juliana Hatfield-esque.
@Music Is Life (10) – This rocks. Love the production melody, and the lyrics. Love this. I also love that right when you want the dadada's to end, they do. Perfect.
And moving right onto #76, another Country Michelle ™ elimination hits the ground running….
... you could say that this one came and went.
Everything Comes and Goes
High Scores: 9.75 (@Music Is Life), 9 (@Sprockrooster)
Low Score: 2.7 (@saviodxl)
My Score: 7
‘Everything Comes and Goes’ is a pleasant country-pop ballad, and the title track of Michelle’s 2009 EP fiasco (I’ll spare you a rehash of the details - go here for that info). For me, this track is quite pretty, but there’s nothing that really gives it any huge oomph. I honestly would have gone with another song on the album for the title (especially when ‘Sooner or Later’ was the best track from the actual released version of the album and is sitting… right there). But, overall, it’s still a decent little track with some good vocals. (Great vocals, beautiful vocals.)
@rtotheh (5) - It’s the Stand Still, Look Pretty of ECAG (“Everything comes and goes… because Jessica Harp is a band-wrecker!”). It bugs me that there was a more uptempo version we briefly heard in some behind-the-scenes—the final cut draaaags.
@abael (7) - The variety in mood while keeping a recognisable sound definitely shows Michelle’s progress as an artist.
@pop3blow2 (7.3) - I don’t really have much of an opinion about this. It’s fine, but kinda boring I guess. An odd choice to title the EP, but maybe it means a lot to her so I’m not going to drag it too much. It’d be even more forgettable to me though, if the EP wasn’t named after it.
Scream @ both of us dragging the song a bit but still giving it a 7. Michelle, ha impact!
@LKane (7.7) - I don’t know why this is the track that gives the name to the album. A very slow and kind of boring track.
...at least we have @LKane in our company.
@bonnieetclyde (8) - Really nice vocals again. Nice vibe on this one.
@Music Is Life (9.75) – This is a gorgeous ballad. I love her voice on it, as well as the backing vocals. The verses are great and a nice set-up for the chorus. This makes for a great official closer to this really strong EP, and a perfect title track.
I'll Always Be Right There
Leap of Faith
You Get Me
All You Wanted
You Set Me Free
Something to Sleep To
Here with Me
If Only She Knew
I’d Rather Be in Love
Goodbye to You
Drop in the Ocean
Life on Mars?
Are You Happy Now?
Find Your Way Back
One of These Days
Love Me Like That (with Sheryl Crow)
Where Are You Now?
‘Til I Get Over You
Lay Me Down
A Case of You
Leave the Pieces
Way Back Home
The Good Kind
My, Oh My
Stand Still, Look Pretty
Hard to Love You
Lay Me Down
One More Girl
Ready to Let You Go
Sooner or Later
I Want Tears
Everything Comes and Goes
Show Me a Sign
Long Goodbye (with Dwight Yoakam)
Texas in the Mirror
I’m Not That Strong
Pretty Little Lyin’ Eyes
Take a Chance on Me
Not Gonna Follow You Home
Smoke & Feathers
If You Happen to Call
What Don't Kill Ya
Here We Go Again
Play with Fire
For Dear Life
Through the Radio
Jack & Jim
Don't Feel Like Dancing
Just Let Me In
the only album with no losses yet... the taste!
Best You Ever
Living a Lie
Knock Yourself Out
Carry Me Home
Not a Love Song
The Game of Love (Santana feat. Michelle Branch)
Without You (Justincase feat. Michelle Branch)
Now That I Found You
I’m Feeling You (Santana feat. Michelle Branch & Jessica Harp)
Down to the River
When the Morning Comes
Getaway (Timbaland feat. Michelle Branch)
Good Love (Rihwa feat. Michelle Branch)
Horse with No Name (with Patrick Carney)
I think Everything Comes & Goes made sense as the title cause...actually I'm not sure, I just know that's how I think.
Separate names with a comma.