Hey guys, remember Michelle Branch? Back in the early 2000s, she was part of a triumvirate of precocious female singer-songwriters alongside Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton. Back then, her music as ubiquitous as the Nokia 3310 or velour tracksuits. Michelle Branch was, quite literally, Everywhere.
But as so often happens, eventually Michelle’s trajectory started to take her out of the public eye. First came the slightly inexplicable Maxim cover shoot (I chose to link to an Angelfire page for this piece because HOLY SHIT ANGELFIRE IS STILL AROUND), then her pop-country collab The Wreckers, and then, well… not much. Michelle and her compatriots gradually ceded their claim on teen Myspace playlists to Regina Spektor and the rest of the Starbucks set that followed after: Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat and the like.
But things often come full circle with enough time. This spring has witnessed not only the return of the Nokia 3310, but also Michelle Branch, who dropped the Patrick Carney-produced Hopeless Romantic in April. Hrishikesh Hirway recently profiled her track “Best You Ever” on his podcast Song Exploder, but I think the album’s title track has some verve to it, as well.
Welcome back, Michelle. This new sound suits you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go update my Myspace playlist…