4th Street Feeling

4th Street Feeling

by Melissa Etheridge


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On 4th Street Feeling, songwriter Melissa Etheridge looks back, both biographically and musically. The title of the album is named for the main drag in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas, and her upbringing is referenced on several tracks. Recorded with her road band in Nashville, Etheridge played all the guitars herself (for the first time) as well as harmonica and keyboards. The set was produced (mostly) by Jacquire King; Steve Booker helmed the title track and "Be Real," and Etheridge co-produced. Looking to her roots proves a solid strategy. The musical ones are both her own -- as in her first two albums -- as well as those of her inspirations, including the Eagles, Bob Seger, and Chaka Khan. The rootsy rockers work best. "Kansas City," with its upfront assault guitars ringing out over a rumbling bassline and a strident (but not anthemic) chorus, kicks things off. The title track, with its Rhodes piano, contains an easy soul groove and lyrics that reflect on past innocence as a motivating factor for a simpler life in the present. The grain of her voice is unaffected and balanced against the fingerpopping vamp. The bluesy undertow in the sinister "The Shadow of a Black Crow," is swampier than anything Etheridge has ever recorded, yet the chorus hook brings it right back into her comfort zone. "Be Real" is deep and funky in its restrained, sparse way, with great wah-wah effects. The country tinge on "Falling Up," with its syncopated skittering drums and the banjitar (a banjo body on a guitar's neck) would fit perfectly within the identity crisis that is contemporary country. Likewise the largely acoustic "I Can Wait," with its restraint, emotional conviction, and soulful expression, is the subtlest moment here -- and one of the finest. But not everything works. "Shout Now," a rocker, is an exercise in self-indulgent production; it feels out of place on the first half of the record -- despite the display of Etheridge's considerable guitar chops. Conversely, "Rock N Roll Me" is a simple blues, with excellent guitar work that showcases the expansive natural range of expression in Etheridge's voice. Stripped to the bone, it's a sexy, sultry love song that sends the set off on a high note. 4th Street Feeling is largely a return to form for Etheridge; a record that reaffirms her place as a songwriter and recording artist who is in a class of her own.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/04/2012
Label: Island
UPC: 0602537123605
catalogNumber: 001730502
Rank: 82629

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Melissa Etheridge   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Steve Booker   Keyboards
Jon Kaplan   Bass
Brett Simons   Bass
Zac Rae   Keyboards
Blair Sinta   Drums

Technical Credits

Melissa Etheridge   Composer,Producer
Steve Booker   Producer
Jon Kaplan   Additional Production
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Jacquire King   Producer,Engineer
Marc VanGool   Guitar Techician
Eric Wong   Marketing
Brad Bivens   Engineer
Kristen Yiengst   Art Direction
Smit   Engineer
Steven Defino   Art Direction
David Grant   Marketing
Oliver Straus   Engineer
Dave Morris   Marketing

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